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Pres. Lee Names New Unification, Environment Ministers

Posted March. 03, 2008 03:00,   


President Lee Myung-bak nominated Sunday Ambassador to China Kim Ha-jung unification minister and Vice Environment Minister Lee Man-eui environment minister.

Choi Si-jung, former president of Gallup Korea, will also serve as the first chairman of the new Broadcasting Communications Commission, a minister-level position.

“The criteria were professional qualifications, capability, and national sense. [Kim and Lee’s] understanding of President Lee’s political philosophy was a factor as well,” said presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan. “Balanced regional allocation did not play a crucial role.”

Born in Wonju in Gangwon Province, Kim entered the foreign service after graduating from Seoul National University. He has served as diplomatic minister to China, director of the Foreign Ministry’s Asia-Pacific bureau, and senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and security.

Lee Man-eui was born in Damyang, South Jeolla Province, and majored in education at Chosun University. He then passed the public service exam and later served as mayor of Mokpo, deputy mayor of Gwangju, director at the Government Administration and Home Affairs Ministry, and presidential secretary for administration.

Choi was born in President Lee’s hometown of Pohang, North Gyeongsang Province. Choi majored in politics at Seoul National University and has worked mostly in media, including as political desk editor, editorial writer and deputy director of the major Seoul daily Dong-A Ilbo.

The three appointments are the last minister nominations requiring parliamentary hearings. President Lee will send requests Monday to hold confirmation hearings for the trio to the National Assembly.

The president will preside over his first Cabinet meeting on the same day with eleven ministers he appointed and four members from the previous administration who are still waiting for their successors’ parliamentary confirmations.