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Yoon says undecided on whether to appoint health minister nominee

President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks to reporters as he arrives for work at the presidential office in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks to reporters as he arrives for work at the presidential office in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday he will continue to review whether to appoint Health Minister nominee Chung Ho-young, who is accused of using his position to get his children into a medical school.

Chung is one of the Cabinet nominees that have not been formally appointed, along with Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo, Justice Minister nominee Han Dong-hoon and Gender Minister nominee Kim Hyun-sook, as the main opposition Democratic Party has objected to their appointments.

Asked whether he has decided to appoint Chung, Yoon told reporters upon arrival at the presidential office that he will "continue to review" the matter. The remark came amid speculation Yoon could withdraw Chung's nomination in exchange for the opposition party's agreement to confirm the prime minister nominee.

The nomination of Chung, a former chief of Kyungpook National University Hospital, as health minister has become a hot issue after allegations surfaced he used his position to help his daughter and son gain admission to the university's medical school and exempt his son from active duty military service.

Asked whether he will appoint Justice Minister nominee Han Dong-hoon, Yoon also replied that he will continue to review the matter.

The DP has called for Yoon to withdraw his nomination of Han, one of Yoon's closest confidants, citing his resistance against prosecution reform.

In South Korea, all ministers are subject to a parliamentary confirmation process, but only the prime minister's appointment requires parliamentary approval. (Yonhap)

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