South Korea names new finance minister, among 5 others

Seoul, Dec 4 (EFE).- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol changed six members of his cabinet Monday, including the economy and finance ministers.

Choi Sang-mok was promoted to finance minister from economic affairs secretary and will double as vice prime minister, presidential Spokesman Kim Dae-ki said in a press conference reported by the local news agency Yonhap.

Kang Jung-ai, former president of Sookmyung Women’s University, will be the next Minister of Veterans Affairs and former Korea Institute of Rural Economics senior researcher Song Mi-ryung was appointed head of agriculture.

Park Sang-woo, former head of state real estate developer Korea Land & Housing, will head the Land, Infrastructure and Transportation Ministry; while the Korean Institute of Ocean Science and Technology President Kang Do-hyung will be the Minister of Oceans.

Veteran politician Oh Young-ju, who until now served as second vice chancellor, was appointed minister for Small and Medium Enterprises.

This reshuffle of the South Korean Cabinet was widely expected, amid rumors that several of the replaced ministers are preparing candidacies for the National Assembly.

Yoon would also seek to renew the faces and functioning of his government ahead of his entry into his third year in office.

The changes, made mainly in ministries with responsibility for economic affairs, come at a time of marked economic challenges for Asia’s fourth-largest economy, including persistent inflation.

Added to this are the planned elections to parliament, currently controlled by the main opposition party, and the need to add support to carry out reforms in three key areas: work, education and pensions.

Another reshuffle is not ruled out in the coming weeks, given that Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon is considered a potential parliamentary candidate, and following the resignation last week of Korean Communications Commission Chairman Lee Dong-kwan, while the opposition prepared a motion. EFE


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