Chong Jong-sup, 56, is a renowned constitutional scholar at Seoul National University who has long advocated sweeping state, judicial and social reform.
| Chong Jong-sup, public administration minister|
He will lead a new ministry envisioned to handle home affairs as the smaller successor to the existing Ministry of Security and Public Administration that will be dismantled as part of President Park Geun-hye’s government reconfiguration plans unveiled in the wake of the Sewol sinking in April.
In academia, Chong’s work focused on the presidential system, basic rights and constitutional reform. He is also known as an avid supporter for the parliamentary cabinet system.
Born in Gyeongju, North Gyeongsang Province, he passed the national bar exam in 1982 and served as a research officer at the Constitutional Court. He taught at Konkuk University before moving to SNU in 1999.
The professor currently chairs the Korean Constitutional Law Association.
Chong’s relationship with Park dates back to the April 2012 general elections, during which he was a vice chairman of the nomination committee for the Grand National Party, the forerunner of the ruling Saenuri Party.
The president was serving as the GNP’s de facto leader, heading the emergency committee.
Chong also boasts academic ties with some of Park’s close confidants such as Ambassador to China Kwon Young-se and Rep. Yoo Seung-min of the Saenuri Party.
But his lack of experience in public administration is likely to be a major stumbling block to parliamentary approval. He is said to have a “critical view” of current politics, according to a source that is close to the scholar.
By Jeong Hunny (email@example.com