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Moon replaces three senior aides, withholds decision on chief of staff

President Moon Jae-in‘s new secretaries. From left: Choi Jae-sung, Kim Jong-ho and Kim Je-nam. Yonhap
President Moon Jae-in‘s new secretaries. From left: Choi Jae-sung, Kim Jong-ho and Kim Je-nam. Yonhap

President Moon Jae-in on Monday named three new senior secretaries, three days after six of his top aides including his chief of staff offered their resignations.

The three posts replaced are that for political affairs, civil affairs and justice, and civic and social agenda, and the new secretaries will be appointed on Tuesday, Cheong Wa Dae said.

For the post of political affairs secretary, Moon chose former ruling Democratic Party lawmaker Choi Jae-sung, and Board of Audit and Inspection Secretary General Kim Jong-ho for the post of civic affairs and justice secretary.

The post of senior secretary for civic and social agenda will be filled by Kim Je-nam, who currently serves as the climate and environment secretary to the president.

On Friday, Moon’s chief of staff Noh Young-min, Yoon Do-han, in charge of public communication; Kim Jo-won, responsible for civil affairs; Kim Geo-sung, responsible for civil society; Kim Oe-sook, who deals with personnel management; and senior secretary for political affairs Kang Gi-jung offered their resignations.

In announcing six senior officials resignation, the presidential office said that the senior officials offered their resignation to take responsibility for “recent developments.” While Cheong Wa Dae did not elaborate, “recent developments” are thought to refer to controversy over real estate policies.

As for the chief of staff, and senior secretaries for public communication and personnel management, a high level Cheong Wa Dae official declined to comment.

“(Choi) entered politics after working in civic society, and held key posts including that of spokesperson and secretary general of the ruling party. He has shown exceptional drive and planning capabilities,” Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Kang Min-seok said.

Regarding the new civil affairs and justice secretary, Kang said that the current Board of Audit and Inspection secretary general has a deep understanding of Moon’s philosophies.

As for Kim Je-nam the new civil society secretary, Kang said that his experience in environment-related NGO and the National Assembly will enable him to deal with issues preemptively.

By Choi He-suk (