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Former lawmaker named venture policy chief

The nominee to head the newly created small and venture business ministry is a former Democratic Party lawmaker who served as a policy adviser on President Moon Jae-in's election campaign.

Hong Jong-haak. Yonhap
Hong Jong-haak. Yonhap

Hong Jong-haak was tapped for the new head of Ministry of SMEs and Startups after Park Seong-jin, an engineering professor from Pohang University of Science and Technology, withdrew from his nomination last month due to criticism over his controversial views on religion and history.

The 58-year-old Hong majored in economics at Yonsei University and got his doctorate from the University of California in 1991. 

Hong taught economics at Gachon University in Seongnam, south of Seoul, from 1992-2002, and served as a senior official for several liberal economic activists groups, including the Citizens' Coalition for Economic Justice, before going into politics. 

In 2012, he won a seat under the proportional representation system for the then-opposition Democratic Party, and has proposed several economic bills during his four-year term. (Yonhap)