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Ruling party, gov't agree on administration reorganization plan

All Headlines 09:44 June 05, 2017

SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- The ruling Democratic Party and government agreed Monday to create a new ministry supporting small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and venture startups as part of a government reorganization plan, party officials said.

During the election campaign, President Moon Jae-in pledged to enhance support for the SMEs through a higher-level government entity so that the nation can create more jobs and better cope with stiff global industrial competition.

Ruling party, gov't agree on administration reorganization plan - 1

The agreement came during the first meeting among senior officials from the ruling party, government and presidential office Cheong Wa Dae since the Moon administration was launched May 10.

Under the restructuring plan, the trade section will continue to belong to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, but a vice ministerial-level official will lead it, officials said. It is a reversal of Moon's policy planning advisory panel's earlier position to transfer it to the foreign ministry.

The fire service and the Coast Guard that currently belong to the Ministry of Public Safety and Security will be separated to function as independent agencies -- a move to further strengthen public safety.

The envisioned change will refurbish the government into a structure of 18 ministries, five lower-level ministries and 17 agencies, from the current 17 ministries, five lower ministries and 16 agencies.

Officials explained that the change was kept to a minimum to quickly stabilize state affairs hampered by a government transition and the March 10 ouster of former President Park Geun-hye over a corruption scandal.

Monday's meeting was attended by Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon, Interior Minister Hong Yun-sik, Democratic Party leader Choo Mi-ae, its floor leader Woo Won-shik, presidential chief of staff for policy Jang Ha-sung, chief presidential secretary for political affairs Jun Byung-hun and other officials.
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