Yoon made three appointments to the presidential office

From left, Kim Eun-hye, Lee Kwan-sup and Lim Jong-deuk, newly appointed to the Yoon Suk-yeol presidential office, attend a press briefing at the presidential office in Yongsan District in central Seoul on Sunday. [NEWS1]

As the administration struggles with the low approval rate, Chairman Yoon Suk-yeol made three key appointments to the presidential office on Sunday.

While posts with new blood include those related to public relations and national security, a new post is being created despite Yoon’s promise to run a lean office.

Lee Kwan-sup, vice president and former vice minister of commerce of the Korea International Trade Association (KITA), has been appointed as the senior vice president for policy planning, a newly formed position.

“In terms of people’s livelihood and policy agenda, with better communication and understanding between the people, ministries and the presidential office, Yoon Suk-yeol is the most suitable person to lead the realization of key national tasks of his administration.” the presidential office said in a statement.

Lee previously held various other positions in the Department of Commerce, Industry and Energy, including deputy secretary of energy and resources and deputy secretary of industrial policy. He later served as the CEO of the state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power, and later resigned from the post in January 2018 opposing the Moon Jae-in government’s nuclear phase-out attempt.

Lee earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Seoul National University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard Kennedy School.

At a briefing on Sunday afternoon, the presidential chief of staff, Kim Dae-ki, pointed to Lee’s extensive experience as a traditional bureaucrat overseeing industrial and energy resources policies, adding, “He is not only capable of planning and coordinating all aspects of government affairs, but also accepted,” he said. , but also for his understanding of political issues.”

Kim Eun-hye, a former People’s Power Party (PPP) MP and spokesperson for the transitional President-elect Yoon, has been appointed as the new senior secretary for media affairs.

She previously worked as a reporter and presenter for local broadcasters MBC and MBN. Kim was the presidential spokesperson from 2008 to 2010 during the Lee Myung-bak administration.

Kim recently ran for the governorship of Gyeonggi in the June 1 local elections, but lost 0.15 percentage points to Democratic Party (DP) candidate Kim Dong-yeon. In order to run for the election, Gyeonggi gave up his seat as a deputy representing Bundang District A in Seongnam.

“We believe he has the best expertise in public relations and media,” said Kim, the presidential chief of staff. “In particular, from his time as the public relations director of the election campaign committee and spokesperson for the incoming president, he deeply understands the political philosophy of the president and was determined to be the right person to properly communicate with the president, the people and the media.”

He will replace Choi Young-bum and he will take on the role of special adviser on foreign affairs.

Lim Jong-deuk, the former chief of staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), has been appointed as the new second deputy national security adviser.

He replaces Shin In-ho, who stepped down earlier this month for health reasons.

A former army two-star general, Lim served as the presidential defense secretary during Park Geun-hye’s administration.

“He has held important positions in the Ministry of National Defense and Chiefs of Staff,” said Chief of Staff Kim, adding that he is “a recognized expert in the fields of defense policy and military strategy” who will assist with the security policies of the Yoon government. “support uninterrupted defensive posture and demonstrate national crisis management capabilities.”

The appointments came amid the president’s low approval rating, in part due to criticism of poor staffing choices.

“It’s true that I have many fears,” Kim Eun-hye said at a press conference on Sunday. “I will work hard as a bridge to humbly convey the expectations and aspirations of the people and accurately convey President Yoon Suk-yeol’s political philosophy.”

Lee Kwan-sup said, “There seems to be a lot of people regretting the Yoon administration, which was launched with the high expectations and hopes of the people.” “I plan to do my best for a government that can maintain national unity by preserving justice and common sense as it was set out in the beginning.”

During his campaign, Yoon emphasized weakening the office of president and eliminating all unnecessary duties when he took office. But presidential officials also expressed concern about a shortage of staff to perform presidential office duties.

With the creation of the senior presidential secretary for the policy and planning position, the presidential office will be expanded from the current “two offices and five secretaries” structure to the “two offices and six secretaries” structure.

BY SARAH WHO [[email protected]]

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