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Lee Administration to Begin Reshuffles Soon

Posted June. 18, 2008 04:14,   


Former North Jeolla Province Governor Kang Hyeon-wook is being mentioned for prime minister in the second Cabinet of the Lee Myung-bak administration and Korea Investment Holdings Chairman Yoon Jin-shik is being talked about for presidential chief of staff.

A high-ranking source said on Tuesday that President Lee Myung-bak will replace three to five ministers and senior secretaries who have already tendered resignations including Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and Presidential Chief of Staff Yu Woo-ik.

The source said, “As soon as the Korean delegation visiting the United States for beef negotiations hammers out a deal on critical issues, some ministers and senior secretaries including the prime minister and chief of staff will be replaced as a way to appease the public and make a new start.”

Health, Welfare and Family Affairs Minister Kim Soung-yee, Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Chung Woon-chun, and Education, Science and Technology Minister Kim Doh-yeon will all be replaced as will senior presidential secretaries for political affairs, civil government diplomacy, security, and economic affairs. Sources say that the replacements began to be informed to some of those concerned from Tuesday afternoon.

“Former Governor Kang is no.1 on the candidate list because he is from the Jeolla provinces, meeting public demand for national integration, which was mentioned by the president at a meeting with Liberty Forward Party Chairman Lee Hoi-chang on Saturday, and because both the ruling and opposition parties trust his experience and rationality,” said another source. “After reviewing some candidates for chief of staff including some politicians, we came to the conclusion that Yoon Jin-shik is the right person for the job as his ability has been proven and he can carry out the goal of the Lee administration, reviving the economy.”

Instead of Jeon Jae-hee, the GNP lawmaker who was once a favored candidate, lawmaker and former Korea Medical Association Chairman Shin Sang-jin and a former Health and Welfare vice minister are being considered for welfare minister, and former ambassador to Denmark and Agriculture and Forestry Vice Minister Lee Myung-soo and former lawmakers Kwon Oh-eul and Hong Moon-pyo are being mentioned for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries minister.

Lawmaker and former National Assembly Education Committee Chairman Hwang Woo-yeo and lawmaker and former National Education Association President Lee Geun-hyun are being considered for Education, Science and Technology minister.

Strategy and Finance Minister Kang Man-soo and Land, Transport and Marine Affairs Minister Chung Jong-hwan may or may not be replaced.

Former lawmaker Maeng Hyung-gyu is said to be the next senior secretary for political affairs, former Finance and Economy Minister Kim Seok-dong the next senior secretary for economic affairs, and a former labor official will be named for senior secretary for social policy, a position that has been empty until now. Former legislator Jeong Jong-bok and chief prosecutor of the Seoul Supreme Prosecutors’ Office Park Yeong-soo are being mentioned as the next senior secretary for civil affairs.

Trade Minister Kim Jong-hoon, former Korea-U.S. Deputy Commander of the Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command Kim Byeong-gwan, and Korea University Professor Hyun In-taek are favored candidates for senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security.

Former legislator Park Hyun-joon will be the newly created senior secretary for public relations and three secretaries responsible for the Internet will be appointed.

Hong Jin-pyo, secretary-general of the conservative civic group Liberty Union, will be named as new senior secretary for civil society in charge of relations with civic groups under the political affairs secretary office.

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