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(LEAD) National Assembly holds confirmation hearings for 3 minister nominees

Politics 16:52 March 27, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, lead; UPDATES with more info throughout; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, March 27 (Yonhap) -- The National Assembly held confirmation hearings Wednesday for President Moon Jae-in's picks for three minister positions, including the nominee to lead the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups ministry.

SMEs Minister nominee Park Young-sun, Interior Minister nominee Chin Young and Science Minister nominee Cho Dong-ho were grilled over their qualifications for their proposed posts, along with their ethical standards.

They are among seven minister nominees who were named by President Moon in a Cabinet reshuffle announced earlier this month. Confirmation hearings for four other nominees were held earlier this week.

Opposition lawmakers denounced Park, a four-term lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, for her refusal to turn in necessary documents for the hearing.

She has come under fire as her husband belatedly paid outstanding income tax around the time of her nomination. Family issues, such as her son's dual citizenship and fake residential registration, were also highlighted.

Meanwhile, Chin, a ruling party lawmaker, expressed regret over his controversial investment in real estate.

He is known to have reaped more than 2 billion won (US$1.8 million) in profit through an investment in land, located near a building in Yongsan, central Seoul, where several tenants were killed in a blaze in 2009 during their protest against police to oppose a plan to redevelop the area.

Cho was vetted over allegations that his son may have received undue favors when looking for a job, and that the nominee may have made a speculative real estate investment.

Park Young-sun, nominee to lead the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups ministry, answers questions from lawmakers at her confirmation hearing at the National Assembly in Seoul on March 27, 2019. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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