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New Prosecutor General, Tax Chief Named

Posted June. 22, 2009 08:44,   


President Lee Myung-bak yesterday nominated chief prosecutor of the Seoul Central Prosecutors` Office Chun Sung-gwan as prosecutor general and Fair Trade Commission Chairman Baek Yong-ho as National Tax Service commissioner.

Presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said, “The selection was made with a big focus on reform of the prosecutors` office. A drastic change has been made in the office.”

“As for the National Tax Service commissioner, we focused on external candidates and expertise given that the two of the previous three commissioners were sentenced to prison.”

Chun’s appointment was surprising in that he was promoted ahead of seven senior prosecutors who had served longer than he had, heralding a sea of change in the prosecution.

Baek is a former director of the Seoul Development Institute and former head of the Bareun Policy Institute, an advisory body for then presidential candidate Lee in 2007. Baek is expected to lead the reform of the tax office as a member of President Lee’s advisory group.

Chun, 52, and Baek, 53, also hail from South Chungcheong Province instead of Daegu or North Gyeongsang Province. Chun is from Nonsan and Baek from Boryeong.

Their appointments are seen as an attempt at regional balance in the Cabinet, as National Intelligence Service Director Won Sei-hoon and National Policy Agency Commissioner-General Kang Hee-rak are both from the Daegu-North Gyeongsang Province region.

Chun is the country’s first prosecutor general from the Chungcheong region since Kim Gak-young served the remaining term of predecessor Lee Jae-myung from November 2002 to March 2003 under the Kim Dae-jung administration.

Before that, Kim Seok-hui, a native of Chungju, North Chungcheong Province, served in the post from May 1982 to February 1985 under the Chun Doo-hwan administration.

Chun and Baek will be officially named to their respective new posts after undergoing confirmation hearings at the National Assembly.