(ATTN: UPDATES with Cabinet reshuffle possibility, other details in last 5 paras)
By Lee Chi-dong
SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in named Chung Man-ho, former vice governor of Gangwon Province, as his new senior secretary for public communication on Wednesday, Cheong Wa Dae said.
He also tapped Yoon Chang-yul, an official at the Office for Government Policy Coordination, as senior secretary for social policy, according to presidential spokesman Kang Min-seok.
Chung served as vice governor of the eastern province for economic affairs for three years from 2017 after working as policy situation and protocol secretary to President Roh Moo-hyun in the early 2000s.
He worked as a reporter at the Korea Economic Daily, a Seoul-based newspaper, from 1984 till 2001.
He replaces Yoon Do-han, who tendered his resignation last week along with Moon's Chief of Staff Noh Young-min and four other senior secretaries amid public anger over the government's failure to stabilize the housing market.
Moon plans to formally appoint the two new secretaries Thursday.
Asked during a press briefing if Noh will maintain his job, a Cheong Wa Dae official reiterated, "It's hard to answer (the question) as it's a matter related to the president's personnel affairs rights."
The nominee for new social policy secretary is a longtime civil servant, having worked as a minister at South Korea's Embassy in Malaysia.
Earlier this week, Moon replaced his senior secretaries for political affairs and civil affairs as well as civic and social affairs.
Moon has installed new figures into seven of 15 senior secretary and higher posts at Cheong Wa Dae over the past month.
The move is widely viewed as being aimed at giving fresh momentum to the remainder of his presidency to end in May 2022. Moon's approval rating has dropped markedly in recent weeks, multiple opinion polls showed.
Many expect him to carry out a Cabinet shake-up in the near future as well.
The outgoing social policy secretary, Kim Yeon-myoung, is reportedly among the shortlist of health minister candidates.
It remains unclear whether Moon will replace his chief of staff for policy, Kim Sang-jo, and other economy-related top Cheong Wa Dae aides, who are in charge of real estate policy, anytime soon.
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