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(2nd LD) Vice Finance Minister An Il-whan named as senior presidential secretary for economic affairs

Politics 16:06 March 30, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with Cheong Wa Dae's statement in 5th para, background info in last 3 paras)

SEOUL, March 30 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in tapped Vice Finance Minister An Il-whan as his new senior secretary for economic affairs, Cheong Wa Dae announced Tuesday.

An is succeeding Lee Ho-seung, who was promoted to the post of presidential chief of staff for policy the previous day.

Moon also picked two new vice finance ministers, Lee Eog-weon and Ahn Do-geol, both of whom are career officials at the ministry as well.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance has two vice ministers. An has been serving as second vice minister, a position to be assumed by Ahn. Lee is taking up the post of first vice minister.

The appointments are meant to "push smoothly for pending policy issues in the second half of the (Moon) administration and inject new vigor for resurgence in the midst of the grave economic situations at home and abroad," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kang Min-seok said in a statement.

Moon, meanwhile, appointed Kim In-geol, an honorary professor of history at Seoul National University, as head of the National Institute of Korean History that is in charge of researching, collecting and compiling materials on Korean history.

From left are An Il-whan, tapped as senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, Lee Eog-weon as 1st vice finance minister, Ahn Do-geol as 2nd vice finance minister and Kim In-geol as chief of the National Institute of Korean History in a combination of photos provided by Cheong Wa Dae. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

On Monday, the president abruptly replaced Kim Sang-jo, his chief of staff for policy, a day after he came under fierce criticism over his apartment leasing contract last year.

Kim, who was in charge of Cheong Wa Dae's handling of major policies, including a drive to curb home price hikes nationwide, was found to have signed a contract to raise the "jeonse" fee of his apartment by 14.1 percent to 970 million won (US$856,000), a few days before the introduction of new legislation to limit such an increase to the maximum of 5 percent.

Jeonse, peculiar to South Korea's housing market, is a system that enables tenants to lend a sum of money to landlords without interest charged usually for a two-year lease in lieu of monthly rent.


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