President Moon Jae-in’s pick for foreign minister is a female diplomat with a career in the United Nations and who started off as a language expert.
Kang Kyung-wha, who was nominated Sunday to lead the Foreign Ministry, has been serving as a special policy adviser to the UN secretary-general since December. The position was newly created by UN chief Antonio Guterres for Kang, who headed his transition team.
“She is a diplomatic expert holding titles of the first and the best,” Moon told reporters, announcing her nomination.
“Given her expertise in international affairs and extensive networks, I am convinced she will be the perfect fit for navigating through sensitive diplomatic agenda.”
Kang is the latest female official to be appointed to a senior position in the Moon administration, following Veteran Affairs Chief Ret. Lt. Col Pi Woo-jin and Cho Hyun-ock, senior presidential secretary for personnel affairs.
To be appointed, Kang, 62, must go through the parliamentary confirmation process. If cleared, she will become the first woman to head the Foreign Ministry in its history.
Cheong Wa Dae, in a rare move, revealed “minor flaws” in Kang’s ethic credentials that her elder daughter had chosen US citizenship over her Korean nationality and that she once registered a false residence in order to be accepted into a preferred school.
“Kang was nominated despite these problems as she was deemed the best diplomatic chief in current circumstances,” said Cho, the personnel affairs secretary.