Park re­places pre­mier, an­ger­ing op­po­si­tion

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SEOUL: South Korea’s pres­i­den­tial of­fice yes­ter­day named a new prime min­is­ter and fi­nance min­is­ter, the high­est-level shake-up since Pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye’s ad­min­is­tra­tion was rocked by a scan­dal in­volv­ing a friend ac­cused of med­dling in state af­fairs.

But op­po­si­tion par­ties de­nounced the reshuf­fle as a bid by Park to di­vert at­ten­tion from the po­lit­i­cal cri­sis, which has dragged her ap­proval rat­ing to an all­time low.

The Blue House named Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion chair­man Yim Jong- yong as fi­nance min­is­ter and deputy prime min­is­ter. Yim, who re­places in­cum­bent min­is­ter Yoo Il-ho, has been well-re­garded by pol­i­cy­mak­ers and mar­ket par­tic­i­pants in his cur­rent role.

Kim By­ong-joon ( pix), a se­nior pres­i­den­tial sec­re­tary dur­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Roh Moo-hyun’s ad­min­is­tra­tion, is ex­pected to re­place Hwang Kyo-ahn as prime min­is­ter. The prime min­is­ter’s role in South Korea is largely ad­min­is­tra­tive and re­quires par­lia­men­tary ap­proval.

Kim ini­tially sched­uled a news con­fer­ence but later called it off, say­ing he would speak fur­ther to­day.

Ap­point­ing Kim, who has a rep­u­ta­tion as a lib­eral, ap­pears to be a bid by the con­ser­va­tive Park to pla­cate the op­po­si­tion and soothe pub­lic anger over the scan­dal in­volv­ing Park’s friend, Choi Soon-sil, who is in cus­tody and un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion by prose­cu­tors.

But the shake-up, which in­cluded a new min­is­ter of pub­lic safety and se­cu­rity, did lit­tle to please the op­po­si­tion.

“This re­place­ment of the prime min­is­ter and fi­nance min­is­ter can’t be hap­pen­ing with­out dis­cussing it with the op­po­si­tion,” Peo­ple’s Party leader Park Jie-won said, adding his party would boy­cott nom­i­na­tion hear­ings. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.