South Korea's President Reshuffles Cabinet - Eastern Mirror
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South Korea’s President reshuffles Cabinet

By IANS Updated: Mar 08, 2019 10:15 pm

Seoul, March 8 (IANS): South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday reshuffled his Cabinet, replacing more than a third of his ministers, with an eye on the legislative elections in 2020.

Moon replaced seven of his 18 Cabinet ministers, the most notable of them, his Unification Minister, at a moment when the President’s popularity has slipped.

Other changes were in the Ministries of Culture, Science, Interior, Land and Transportation, Oceans, and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, Efe news reported.

According to the South Korean presidential office, Kim Yeon-chul, 55, will serve as the new the head of the Unification Ministry, replacing Cho Myoung-gyon, 61, who had held the portfolio since Moon came to power in 2016.

Kim is currently the head of a think tank, the Korea Institute for National Unification.

Cho had been in charge of the unification portfolio at a moment marked by a diplomatic shift on the Korean peninsula that kicked off last year with rapprochement between North Korea and the US and South Korea.

Presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said at a press conference that Kim Yeon-chul – whose appointment still needs to be ratified by the National Assembly – “holds great expertise and knowledge in inter-Korean economic cooperation and the North Korean nuclear issue”, according to Yonhap news agency.

He added that Kim Yeon-chul was “one of the few experts in inter-Korean relations with vast experience in both academics and the field”.

Moon was expected to give a push to cooperation projects between the two Koreas, which are currently subject to international sanctions, but the matter remains in limbo as North Korea and the US failed to reach an agreement regarding denuclearization of the Korean peninsula during their summit in Hanoi.

By IANS Updated: Mar 08, 2019 10:15:04 pm
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