Park names ex-career diplomat as senior foreign affairs secretary
Published : 2013-02-19 10:07
Updated : 2013-02-19 11:09
President-elect Park Geun-hye on Tuesday named her long-time right-hand man Lee Jung-hyun as senior presidential secretary for political affairs and former career diplomat Ju Chul-ki as senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security, a spokesman said.
Park also named former finance ministry technocrat Cho Won-dong as economic secretary; social and labor affairs scholar Choi Sung-jae as labor and welfare secretary; former culture ministry technocrat Mo Chul-min as education and cultural affairs secretary; and technology scholar Choi Soon-hong as secretary for future strategies, transition team spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said.
Political affairs aside, Lee, 55, has been at Park's side since she entered politics in the late 1990s. He has often been dubbed the "mouth" of Park in the media, and served as a lawmaker in the previous National Assembly.
The foreign affairs secretary, Ju, 67, is a former veteran diplomat with more than three decades of experience that includes ambassador to France, UNESCO and Morocco, and deputy ambassador at South Korea's mission to the U.N. office in Geneva.
His new job is one of the top posts handling South Korea's foreign policy and security, along with the defense, foreign and unification ministers and the chief of the national security office, which will be established at the presidential office.
Tuesday's announcement of six senior presidential aides is the last in a series of personnel selections Park has made to form the Cabinet and the presidential office leading up to her inauguration scheduled for next Monday.
On Sunday, she named 11 Cabinet ministers in addition to the six she nominated last week. Her first presidential chief of staff and three other senior presidential secretaries were named on Monday. Earlier this month, she also named her prime minister nominee.
However, despite the nominations, Park is expected to begin work with the outgoing Cabinet still in place when she takes office next Monday, because the parliamentary confirmation process for Cabinet nominations could take up to 20 days.
Park's proposal to change the structural layout of the government is still in limbo in parliament due to opposition objections. The main opposition Democratic United Party demands a series of revisions to the proposal, which centers on transferring the foreign ministry's trade negotiating functions to the commerce ministry. (Yonhap News)