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Moon to replace several secretaries, except powerful old guards

Politics 14:29 May 27, 2020

By Lee Chi-dong

SEOUL, May 27 (Yonhap) -- A shake-up of President Moon Jae-in's secretary lineup seems to be in the offing.

He plans to replace several secretaries soon, including some key players in the protocol and public communication teams at Cheong Wa Dae, according to multiple sources.

Moon plans to name Tak Hyun-min, a former Cheong Wa Dae staffer, as new protocol secretary. Tak has experience and expertise in organizing events.

The president will also tap Han Jung-woo, director of the Chunchugwan presidential press center, as secretary for public information. Kim Jae-joon, who is working at the Personal Secretary Office of Cheong Wa Dae, is set to be promoted to succeed Han.

All of them were born in the 1970s, and they entered college in the 1990s, dubbed 97ers or Generation Xers. Some view their rise as signaling a generational shift in Moon's secretary-grade aides, many of whom are "baby boomers" or 86ers.

Moon, meanwhile, has reportedly picked Lee Ji-soo, executive at the Korean Standards Association, as secretary for foreign press. He is in his 50s.

A file photo of Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)

A file photo of Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)

Moon's office is expected to announce the new secretaries within this week.

Senior secretaries are not likely to be affected this time, and Cheong Wa Dae has formally ruled out an imminent Cabinet reshuffle.

In particular, the media are paying keen attention to three powerful old guards: Chief of Staff Noh Young-min, Kang Gi-jung, senior secretary for political affairs, and Yoon Do-han, senior secretary for public communication.

Members of the Cheong Wa Dae press corps call them the "Noh Kang Yoon" trio due to their influence on state affairs. They were appointed in January last year.

Some predicted they would leave Cheong Wa Dae not long after the April 15 parliamentary elections.

However, the ruling Democratic Party's overwhelming win apparently gave them more room to stay in office, as the president is seeking to handle major pending issues in a resolute yet stable way .

Furthermore, the Noh Kang Yoon squad has been playing a pivotal role in Cheong Wa Dae's response to the COVID-19 crisis.


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