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Moon replaces four vice ministers, two Cheong Wa Dae secretaries


The office of President Moon Jae-in announced the replacement of four vice minister-level officials and two of Moon's secretaries in a partial shake-up Monday as his administration nears its third anniversary.

It followed the resignation of some senior officials seeking to run in the April 15 general elections, affecting the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of SMEs and Startups and the National Agency for Administrative City Construction. Moon picked sitting or former career civil servants in his latest major personnel changes.

Oh Yeong-woo, chief of policy planning at the culture ministry, has been promoted to the first vice minister position.

Oh has an excellent ability to get things done and work-related communication skills, Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said in a statement.

He's expected to play a role in resolving difficulties in the arts and cultural sector arising from the coronavirus outbreak, promoting industry and creating jobs -- a key policy goal of the government -- Kang added.

Hong Jeong-kee, head of the environment ministry's four river project evaluation team, has been named as the number two official at the ministry.

Hong has plenty of policy experience addressing air and water pollution, which will be used effectively in the government's efforts to reduce fine dust and streamline water management, the Cheong Wa Dae spokesman said.

Kang Sung-cheon, secretary to Moon for industry and trade policy, has been tapped as vice minister of SMEs and startups. He is known for a role in Seoul's response to Tokyo's export controls.

"He's expected to contribute to speedily overcoming the crisis of small and medium-sized firms, tiny shop owners and the self-employed in the recent emergency economic situations," the Cheong Wa Dae official said.

The president appointed Lee Mun-ki, who is in charge of housing policy at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, as new chief of the administrative city construction agency based in Sejong City, 130 kilometers south of Seoul.

Cheong Wa Dae held out expectations for his service in the campaign for balanced national development.

Yu Jeoung-yeol, who worked as industrial policy chief at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, will succeed Kang for the Cheong Wa Dae job.

Lee Nam-gu, senior official at the Board of Audit and Inspection of Korea, has been chosen to serve as presidential secretary for civil service discipline, with Choe Kang-wook having offered to step down last week.

Choe is facing a trial over alleged document forgery for the son of Cho Kuk, a scandal-ridden former justice minister. He is also reportedly aspiring to become a lawmaker through the proportional representation system on the ticket of a tiny new liberal party. (Yonhap)