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6 in 10 support foreign minister nominee: poll

Six in 10 citizens agree with the appointment of Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister, a poll showed Monday.

According to local pollster Realmeter, 62.1 percent of 505 respondents said they supported Kang as the nation’s top diplomat, while 30.4 percent expressed their opposition.

South Korean foreign minister nominee Kang Kyung-wha (Yonhap)
South Korean foreign minister nominee Kang Kyung-wha (Yonhap)

Tapped to become South Korea’s first female foreign minister last month, Kang was hit by strong backlash from the three main opposition parties over a series of alleged irregularities, including registration of a false address and a belated gift tax payment.

Kang’s confirmation hearing took place on Wednesday, but the parliament has not yet adopted a formal report on her. A ministerial nomination does not require a parliamentary vote.

In line with the first summit with US President Donald Trump, scheduled late this month, the Moon administration hinted that it may push ahead with Kang’s appointment, should the parliament fail to clear her within 10 days of the hearing, as stipulated by law.

On Saturday, 10 former foreign ministers issued a joint statement endorsing Kang for the position. They said Kang is the right person to deal actively with the nation’s diplomatic challenges and pending thorny issues.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party, centrist People‘s Party and splinter conservative Bareun Party, however, remain firmly against the former diplomat, and have called for the president to withdraw the nomination and for Kang to voluntarily resign.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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