President Park Geun-hye on Saturday named former Army chief of staff Nam Jae-joon to become the nation’s intelligence chief and First Vice Finance Minister Shin Je-yoon to head the financial watchdog.
The president also nominated Kim Dong-yeon, the second vice finance minister, to be chief of the Prime Minister’s Office.
Nam and Shin must undergo parliamentary confirmation hearings, but parliamentary approval is not required for their appointments.
The impromptu designation during the holiday weekend drew criticism that the president was attempting to limit scrutiny of her choices and pressure the opposition over the deadlocked government reorganization plan.
Presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said the unscheduled announcement ― made on a day when most vernacular dailies nationwide were not working ― was to “minimize the void in state administration.”
The Democratic United Party criticized the move as being politically underhand.
“It is a manipulative move to announce the nominations during the weekend when it could have been done any other weekday,” said DUP spokeswoman Rep. Kim Hyun.
“The personnel appointment of the Park administration has already long been delayed. It is only an excuse to say it was urgent to announce them.”
The ruling Saenuri Party, on the other hand, welcomed the designations as appropriate.
The formation of Park’s administration has been delayed as the rival parties remained deadlocked over some of the government reorganization plans, thereby delaying the confirmation hearings and final designations of some of the Cabinet members.
Nam Jae-joon, by being named as National Intelligence Service director, becomes the third former military man to join the new administration’s security team, following Kim Jang-soo, who will head the presidential office of national security, and Defense Minister-designate Kim Byung-kwan.
Nam, currently a professor at Seokyeong University, was the top defense policy adviser for Park in her presidential campaign.
Shin, nominated as Financial Services Commission chairman, is known as a leading international finance specialist as he had worked as the FSC vice chairman.
By Lee Joo-hee (firstname.lastname@example.org