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(2nd LD) President Moon appoints new vice ministers

All News 18:18 June 15, 2017

(ATTN: RECASTS paras 2-3 to verify new vice minister for oceans and fisheries was not present to receive his letter of appointment; REPLACES photo)

SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in presented each of his new vice ministers and officials of similar status with a letter of appointment Thursday, marking what could be seen as an official launch of his new administration.

A total of 27 new ministers and vice ministerial-level officials were officially appointed in a ceremony at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

The president named the new vice minister for oceans and fisheries, Kang Joon-suk, earlier Thursday, but he was not available for the ceremony that also involved the new government officials' spouses, Cheong Wa Dae officials said.

President Moon Jae-in (R) shakes hands with new vice minister for education Lee Sook-jin after presenting her with a letter of appointment in a ceremony held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae on June 15, 2017, involving 26 other new vice ministers, vice ministerial officials and their spouses. (Yonhap)

Thursday's ceremony came amid an ongoing dispute over some of the president's picks for new ministers, including Foreign Minister-nominee Kang Kyung-wha.

The president has named 17 new Cabinet members, including 16 new ministers, since his inauguration on May 10, but only two have been appointed so far. They are Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon, who doubles as a deputy prime minister for economy.

The 28 new vice ministers largely form the new Moon Jae-in administration for now.

The president also has three more new ministers to name, including the minister of small and medium-sized firms, a post to be newly created under a proposed government reorganization.


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