Published : 2013-02-27 20:30
Updated : 2013-02-27 20:30
Rival parties adopted a consenting report Wednesday after an one-day confirmation hearing on home affairs minister nominee Yoo Jeong-bok, paving the way for his appointment to the Cabinet post.
The adoption of the report came only hours after Yoo, 56, underwent the parliamentary hearing, in which he vowed to take "fundamental" measures to guarantee a safe living environment for the public against what he called rampant crimes and natural disasters.
"By comprehensively analyzing factors that could threaten public safety ranging from natural calamities, violent crimes and other man-made disasters, I will close legal loopholes and expand required infrastructure so as to strengthen the government's ability to respond to the threats," Yoo had told the hearing committee, which consisted of ruling and opposition party members of the National Assembly Committee on Public Administration and Security.
In South Korea, all Cabinet members must undergo confirmation hearings, though parliamentary approval is not required for their appointment with the National Assembly simply able to express its consent or opposition in a report.
Still, a failure to secure a parliamentary report often leads to withdrawal of the nomination or resignation by the nominee as seen in the recent case of Lee Dong-heub, former President Lee Myung-bak's nominee for constitutional court chief justice who resigned after the parliamentary committee failed to adopt a report on the outcome of his confirmation hearing.
The parliamentary report on Yoo's confirmation hearing was the first of 17 nominees for ministers under the Park Geun-hye administration, which came into office Monday.
The former agriculture minister said he will work to achieve a "balanced development of the country so that the citizens can enjoy a happy life regardless of where they reside."
On the ethical front, lawmakers had raised suspicion over whether Yoo peddled his influence while serving as a lawmaker to help his older brother's construction company win a 6.8 billion won ($6.26 million) order from the government in 2010 without due process. A prosecution investigation is under way into the case, while the minister nominee has denied the allegation.
Yoo, a three-term lawmaker, has decades of experience in state affairs and party politics. After joining the civil service upon the passage of the national administrative services exam in 1979, he served several posts in both central and local governments. In 1994, he was elected the magistrate of then Gimpo County, and served as the agriculture minister in 2010 under former President Lee Myung-bak.
As a close confidant of President Park, he reportedly played a big role in Park's victory as a member of her campaign team and was also the vice chairman of her transition committee. (Yonhap News)