South Korea's defense ministry said Thursday it has picked a retired lieutenant colonel as the chief of the ministry's policy office in a move toward civilian control of the military.
Yeo Suk-joo, who left the Marine Corps in 2010, has become the first retired field-grade officer to take up the key ministry post which handles major pending issues, including a response to North Korea's nuclear and missile threats. It had usually been filled by former Army generals.
|Yeo Suk-joo, new policy chief at South Korea`s Ministry of National Defense, is shown here in a photo provided by the ministry. (Yonhap)|
Before retirement, Yeo served at the South Korean Embassy in Washington as an assistant to the defense attache.
He is fluent in English, Chinese and Japanese, and is known for expertise on foreign military affairs, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, the ministry promoted two bureaucrats -- Lee Nam-woo and Kim Jeong-sup -- to lead the Office of Personnel and Welfare and the Office of Planning and Coordination, respectively.
It said all the three figures are "suitable" to push strongly for defense reform and promote the civilian control of the military, which are among key policies of the Moon Jae-in administration. (Yonhap)