Deputy P.M. post planned for education, social, cultural affairs

By Korea Herald
  • Published : May 27, 2014 - 21:25
  • Updated : May 27, 2014 - 21:36
President Park Geun-hye plans to establish a new deputy prime minister’s post for overseeing educational, social and cultural issues.

At Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Park revealed her plans regarding the new deputy prime minister’s post saying that the complexity of today’s society required responsibilities to be divided further.

Once established, the new post will be held by the minister of education. At present, the country has one deputy prime minister, for economic affairs. The post is filled by the minister of finance. 
President Park Geun-hye presides over a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Along with Park’s plans to establish a new ministry for overseeing safety issues, the new deputy prime ministerial position requires the Government Organization Act to be revised.

Although education deputy prime minister was introduced under the Kim Dae-jung administration, the post was abolished under the Lee Myung-bak administration.

“As the society is changing into a scale and structure different from the past, it was deemed that efficient running of state affairs requires different responsibilities to be given to each (position),” Park said.

“(I) plan to set up a system where the economy deputy prime minister will take on economic issues, and the education-social-culture deputy prime minister will take responsibility for the remaining areas,” Park said. According to Park’s plans, issues concerning rule of law, bureaucratic reform, social security and “normalization of the abnormal” will be placed under the prime minister. “Normalization of the abnormal” refers to Park’s drive to end illogical practices in Korean society.

Park said the plans were drawn up to improve the government’s policy decisions and to delegate more responsibility in making them.

She said that she found Cabinet meetings and the policy meeting headed by the prime minister to be insufficient for overseeing policies.

She added that while the deputy prime minister oversaw economic policies, and the National Security Council chief served as the control tower for foreign policy, defense and security, other non-economic areas lacked a coordinating body.

Also on Tuesday, the presidential office announced plans to rename Ministry of Security and Public Administration to “Ministry of Public Administration and Home Affairs.”

With the Ministry of Security and Public Administration coming under fire for failing to deal with the April 16 ferry disaster, the government drew up plans to remove its security-related duties. The safety-related functions of the ministry are to be given to a new organization dedicated to safety issues.

By Choi He-suk (