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Moon appoints prime minister, science, land ministers

President Moon Jae-in (C, front) walks toward a meeting room at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Friday, along with Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, (R, front) and four newly appointed ministers. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in (C, front) walks toward a meeting room at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Friday, along with Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum, (R, front) and four newly appointed ministers. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in appointed Kim Boo-kyum as new prime minister and two others to lead the science and land ministries Friday.

They were picked in last month's Cabinet shake-up coming on the heels of the ruling party's rout in major by-elections.

The president conferred the certificates of appointment on Prime Minister Kim, Science Minister Lim Hye-sook and Land Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk as well as two other minister nominees -- Commerce Minister Moon Sung-wook and Labor Minister An Kyung-duk -- who smoothly passed their parliamentary confirmation processes last week.

The appointments of the prime minister and two other picks, Lim and Noh, were delayed due mainly to protests from the opposition, which argued that they were unsuitable for the posts, especially given allegations of ethical lapses.

Friday's move represented a de facto end to Moon's monthlong effort to form a fresh lineup of key Cabinet posts in a bid to revive the momentum of his presidency in the final months.

Moon expressed expectations for Kim's leadership. Kim, a former four-term lawmaker, served as interior minister under the Moon administration.

"Having been a member of the first Cabinet of the Moon Jae-in administration, Prime Minister Kim has a good understanding of major policy issues," the president told the newly appointed officials during a post-ceremony conversation session, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Park Kyung-mee.

Moon was quoted as requesting that they be "united with the prime minister at the center."

Kim pledged "one-team" efforts by Cabinet members in handling state affairs. (Yonhap)

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