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Pres. Park appoints controversial maritime minister

Posted April. 18, 2013 14:02,   


President Park Geun-hye has installed a controversial nominee as maritime minister Wednesday.

The president has officially appointed oceanographer Yoon Jin-sook as minister of oceans and fisheries, Choi Mun-kee as science minister, Lee Kyeong-jae as head of the Korea Communications Commission and Chae Dong-wook as prosecutor-general. Wednesday’s appointments have completed the formation of the Park administration 52 days after the president was sworn in.

During an appointment ceremony, the president asked Yoon to improve the country’s competitiveness in the global race to secure maritime resources, expressing her confidence in the new woman maritime affairs minister. Yoon replied, “I have never been discriminated as a female researcher over the decades. I promise to work hard to make the Maritime Affairs Ministry stand out without causing concern to the president and the people.”

President Park has made Yoon’s appointment despite strong objection by the main opposition party since the president judges that she can no longer afford to delay the full launch of her administration at a time of a national security crisis and an economic slump. Some officials at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae think that the president has done all she can do about the controversial maritime minister. During the recent meeting with opposition party leaders, President Park offered an apology for her “failed” appointments of key government posts and asked for cooperation to conclude forming the administration.

Yoon’s appointment, however, will likely cause a political stalemate as the main opposition Democratic Unity Party has strongly protested. The party’s floor leader Park Ki-choon expressed regret about Yoon`s appointment, calling it a “culmination of the (president`s) personnel affairs disaster.”