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Pres. Lee Nominates Youngest PM in 40 Years

Posted August. 09, 2010 13:32,   


President Lee Myung-bak named Sunday the country’s youngest nominee for prime minister in nearly 40 years.

Kim Tae-ho, former governor of South Gyeongsang Province, was designated to succeed the outgoing Chung Un-chan in a Cabinet reshuffle, which also replaced seven ministers and two minister-level officials.

The shake-up concluded a two-month personnel reform of the ruling Grand National Party, administration and presidential office that the ruling camp had pushed for since its crushing defeat in the June 2 local elections.

Born in 1962, Kim Tae-ho, 48, could become the youngest prime minister since Kim Jong-pil, 45, who was appointed as prime minister in 1971 while vice chairman of the Democratic Republican Party.

Lee Jae-oh, the de facto No. 2 man of the administration and head of the pro-Lee Myung-bak faction within the ruling party, was named special affairs minister just 11 days after he won a parliamentary seat in the July 28 by-elections.

President Lee also promoted Vice Education, Science and Technology Minister Lee Ju-ho to minister and did the same for Vice Culture, Sport and Tourism Minister Shin Jae-min.

Ruling party Rep. Yoo Jeong-bok, de facto chief secretary to former party chief Park Geun-hye, was named food and agriculture minister. Fellow ruling party lawmaker Chin Soo-hee, a key member of the pro-Lee faction, was nominated as health and welfare minister.

Bahk Jae-wan, former senior presidential secretary for national policy planning, was picked as employment and labor minister, while Vice Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Jae-hoon was promoted to minister.

The president also appointed Rim Che-min, former first vice knowledge economy minister, as minister of the Prime Minister’s Office and former Vice Labor Minister Chung Jong-soo as chairman of the National Labor Relations Commission.

Lee Hyun-dong, vice chief of the National Tax Service, was promoted to commissioner, a vice minister-level post. Chung Sun-tae, chairman of a committee on investigating Koreans who were forced to work for Japan and assisting the victims, was named government legislation minister.