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(LEAD) Kim Boo-kyum, former four-term lawmaker, nominated as S. Korea's new prime minister

All News 13:41 April 16, 2021

(ATTN: UPDATES with nominations of new ministers, other details in paras 3-4)

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- Kim Boo-kyum, a former four-term lawmaker and interior minister, has been nominated as South Korea's new prime minister, Cheong Wa Dae announced Friday.

President Moon Jae-in picked him in a Cabinet reshuffle intended apparently for new momentum in his leadership that was further dampened by the ruling Democratic Party's rout in the April 7 Seoul and Busan mayoral by-elections.

Kim Boo-kyum, nominated as South Korea's new prime minister (Yonhap)

The president also nominated new land, labor, industry, science and ocean ministers, according to his chief of staff You Young-min.

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki was not included in the roster of ministers to be replaced. He is expected to serve as acting prime minister until Kim assumes the post.

If appointed after the National Assembly's confirmation hearing, Kim will replace Chung Sye-kyun. Chung offered to resign following a 15-month stint. He is widely expected to join the 2022 presidential race.

Kim served as interior minister from 2017-2019 and ran for a parliamentary seat in Daegu, 302 kilometers southeast of Seoul, as a ruling party candidate.

He was defeated by Joo Ho-young of the main opposition People Power Party (PPP), who is now its floor leader.

Daegu is a traditional stronghold of the conservative PPP. Kim was born in 1958 in the nearby town of Sangju, North Gyeongsang Province.

Political observers view the president's choice of Kim as a political message for national unity. Both Chung and Lee Nak-yon, the first prime minister of the Moon administration, hail from the southwestern province of Jeolla, a longtime power base of the Democratic Party. Many agree that regionalism is still prevalent in South Korea's politics.

Kim also vied with Moon for the party's leadership in 2016.


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