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(LEAD) Defense ministry names journalist as first female spokesperson

All News 19:26 December 07, 2017

(ATTN: EDITS throughout; UPDATES with the new spokesperson's comments)

SEOUL, Dec. 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's defense ministry on Thursday named a veteran journalist as its first female spokesperson.

Choi Hyun-soo, a long-time defense reporter at the Kukmin Ilbo newspaper, replaces Moon Sang-gyun, the Ministry of National Defense announced.

The unprecedented move reflects the Moon Jae-in administration's resolve to reform the military and ensure civilian control of the armed forces, according to the ministry.

"I feel a sense of heavy responsibility, assuming this important role at a crucial time," she said in a statement, apparently referring to heightened tensions from North Korea's continued provocations.

She added that her appointment appears to demonstrate the defense ministry's resolve to reach out to the people in an "open and sincere" way.

Choi has been a defense correspondent since 2002 and received the prestigious Choi Eun-Hee Female Journalist Award in 2011.

She graduated from Yonsei University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and diplomacy and later earned a Master of Arts in international relations at the University of Chicago.

Choi Hyun-soo, new spokesperson for South Korea's defense ministry is shown in this photo provided by the ministry. (Yonhap)


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