South Korean President Yoon names new spy chief

Seoul, May 27 (EFE).- South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol Friday appointed Kim Kyou-hyun, a former deputy national security adviser and career diplomat, as the new director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS).

Yoon presented Kim with a letter of appointment a day after the National Assembly (parliament) approved him as the new spy chief.

During his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, Kim vowed to strengthen the South Korean intelligence capabilities amid growing tensions with the North.

The two Koreas have been technically at war for more than seven decades.

He also expressed skepticism at Pyongyang’s willingness to denuclearize.

The former diplomat takes over South Korea’s top spy agency amid a record number of missile tests by the North, which approved a weapons modernization program last year.

North Korea, isolated from the rest of the world since 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, seems to be preparing to conduct its first nuclear test since 2017.

This week, Seoul said Pyongyang had been testing a nuclear detonation device.

Kim, who replaced veteran politician Park Jie-won as the head of NIS, began his career as a diplomat in 1980 and held several posts dealing with the United States.

He was appointed vice foreign minister under ousted President Park Geun-hye (2012-2017) before serving as first deputy national security adviser. EFE asb/pd/ssk

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