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Intelligence, Seoul Police Chiefs Replaced in Reshuffle

Posted January. 19, 2009 03:04,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday replaced National Intelligence Service Director Kim Sung-ho with Public Administration and Security Minister Won Sei-hoon.

Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency chief Kim Seok-ki will also replace Eo Cheong-soo as commissioner general of the National Police Agency. Eo offered his resignation Saturday.

Former Prime Minister Han Duck-soo was tapped as ambassador to the United States.

President Lee will accept today the resignation of National Tax Service Commissioner Han Sang-ryule and will have deputy tax chief Huh Byung-ik temporarily fill the post.

Han Sang-ryule, who is suspected of bribing the wife of his predecessor Jeon Goon-pyo in return for career favors, offered to step down from his post Thursday.

The appointments of Won and Kim will undergo parliamentary confirmation hearings. Han Duck-soo’s appointment as ambassador to the United States will be completed upon approval from Washington.

Prosecutor General Lim Chae-jin was retained despite rumors to the contrary.

On Won’s appointment, vice presidential spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye said, “Won excels in implementing policies and has a good grasp of President Lee’s philosophy on state affairs.”

On Kim Seok-ki’s nomination, the presidential office said, “Kim is trustworthy and fit for the post that requires administrative acumen and strong commitment to maintaining law and order.”

The candidates for chief of the National Tax Service include Korea Customs Service Commissioner Hur Yong-suk; Korean Association of Certified Public Tax Accountants Chairman Cho Yong-keun; former investigative director for the tax service in Seoul Oh Dae-shik; and Huh.

The presidential office, however, did not rule out an outsider assuming the post.

With the reshuffle, President Lee has reportedly stepped up work to replace Cabinet members and his senior aides.

“The timeline and details of reshuffles have yet to be finalized. But a shake-up before the Lunar New Year’s holidays cannot be completely ruled out,” a presidential official said.