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(LEAD) Yoon picks veteran politicians to head committees for national unity, balanced regional development

All News 15:42 March 14, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with appointment of other committee members, details from 7th para)

SEOUL, March 14 (Yonhap) -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Monday named two veteran politicians as chiefs of special transition committee panels on national unity and balanced regional development.

Kim Han-gil, former head of the Democratic Party, will lead the national unity committee, while Kim Byong-joon, former interim head of the Liberty Korea Party, a predecessor of Yoon's People Power Party (PPP), will head the committee on balanced development.

Both worked for Yoon's campaign.

"Kim Han-gil is a person who can put together generations and social classes, and achieve national unity," Yoon said. "Kim Byong-joon has experience and expertise on municipal power, and is expected to draw a big picture for balanced regional growth."

Their appointments came a day after Yoon named Ahn Cheol-soo, his candidacy merger partner, as the chairperson of the transition team.

The transition team will be comprised of seven standing subcommittees, in addition to three special committees on national unity, balanced development and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This composite photo shows Kim Han-gil (L), who was named to lead an advisory group for national unity under President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's transition team, and Kim Byong-joon, who was tapped as the chief of a special panel for balanced regional development. (Yonhap)

Ahn later announced the appointment of three members of the subcommittee for planning and coordination -- Rep. Choo Kyung-ho of the PPP, Rep. Lee Tae-kyu of Ahn's People's Party, and Choi Jong-hag, a professor at Seoul National University.

"The reason we are announcing the planning and coordination subcommittee first is that it is the subcommittee responsible for drawing up the transition committee's overall operational plan as well as the operational guidelines for each subcommittee," Ahn told reporters.

The three members will jointly discuss the transition committee's operations and administrative vision and philosophy, with Choo handling the day-to-day work on economic issues and Lee handling non-economic issues, Ahn said.

Ahn doubles as chair of the COVID-19 subcommittee.

"Broadly speaking, it consists of two parts -- medical care and damage compensation," he said.

The medical part will handle antivirus and vaccine policies, and securing hospital beds for critically ill patients, while the other part will look at the appropriate amount and timing of compensation for small merchants hit by COVID-19 restrictions together with government officials and experts, he said.

Yoon, set to take office May 10, plans to name other committee members later this week.


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