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Pres. Office Reshuffle Likely to Happen Thursday

Posted July. 10, 2010 09:52,   


The personnel reshuffle of the presidential office will likely happen Thursday next week, a day before the national convention of the ruling Grand National Party.

President Lee Myung-bak is fine-tuning his choices with his outgoing chief of staff Chung Chung-kil and Chung’s successor, Labor and Employment Minister Yim Tae-hee.

Almost all senior presidential secretaries will be replaced, government sources said Friday.

Senior presidential secretary for social affairs Park Jae-wan is expected to be appointed chief policy officer but an outside figure is also mentioned for the post to exclude those close to President Lee.

National Tax Service Commissioner Baek Yong-ho is a close confidant of the president, something which could prevent Baek from becoming chief policy officer, the sources said.

The presidential office is known to have searched among former lawmakers for the post of senior presidential secretary for political affairs, but has not found a suitable candidate. Some say, however, that the position does not require legislative experience since Yim, a former three-time lawmaker, can run state affairs.

For senior presidential secretary for public relations, presidential message secretary Kim Doo-woo and Vice Culture, Sports and Tourism Minister Shin Jae-min are the likely candidates. Kim has served as secretary for political affairs planning and Shin worked for President Lee in the 2007 presidential election as message team head.

Many also expect chief presidential secretary for political affairs Park Hyung-jun will be named special adviser for political affairs.

For the new post of senior presidential secretary for social integration intended to encourage public integration and communication, key figures of the ruling camp said the likely candidate is Kim Chung-shik, planning and coordination director of Gacheon Gil Foundation. The Jeolla province native is the author of the book “Directors of Mount Nam.”

Yun Pyeong-jung, a philosophy professor at Hanshin University in Seoul, is also being mentioned for the post.

Senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security Kim Sung-hwan, who is rumored to be appointed foreign affairs and trade minister, will likely keep his post. This is because replacing the foreign minister before Seoul’s hosting of the G20 summit in November is considered a big risk.

Senior secretary for economic affairs Choi Chung-kyeong is expected to remain at his post, which he assumed in April. He graduated a year ahead of Yim at the department of business administration of Seoul National University.

Senior presidential secretary for civil government Kwon Jae-jin will also probably keep his job.