President Park Geun-hye on Friday named Choo Kyung-ho, first vice finance minister, as policy coordination minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and replaced 12 vice ministers as part of efforts to strengthen her new Cabinet, Cheong Wa Dae said.
Choo, 54, replaces Kim Dong-yeon, who offered to resign on Wednesday citing personal reasons.
The list of new vice ministers included three presidential secretaries for finance, trade and welfare. Joo Hyung-hwan, presidential secretary for economy and finance, was named the first vice finance minister; Moon Jae-do, presidential secretary for industry, commerce and energy, was designated second vice minister for trade, industry and energy; and Jang Ock-joo, presidential secretary for health and welfare, was appointed vice health minister.
“This is a follow-up decision carried out for the new Cabinet formed under the Park Geun-hye administration, and was conducted to implement state agendas stably and smoothly,” said presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook.
Last month, Park appointed seven ministers and replaced the spy agency chief in a major Cabinet reshuffle aimed at moving on from the Sewol fiasco, which dealt a heavy blow to her leadership.
Five ministers have taken office so far. Education Minister nominee Hwang Woo-yea is waiting for his parliamentary confirmation hearing. Park has not yet named the new culture minister-designate after her first choice for the post, former TV anchor Chung Sung-keun, withdrew his nomination amid mounting criticism over his drunk driving record and other ethical lapses.
By Cho Chung-un (firstname.lastname@example.org)