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(2nd LD) Yoon names 8 Cabinet members, including defense, finance ministers

All News 15:28 April 10, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with Yoon's remarks, details from 5th para; ADDS photos)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol announced eight Cabinet nominees Sunday, including Rep. Choo Kyung-ho as deputy prime minister for the economy and former Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Vice Chairman Lee Jong-sup as defense minister.

Lee Chang-yang, a professor of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, was named industry minister, while former Jeju Gov. Won Hee-ryong was named land minister, Yoon said at a press conference.

Lee Jong-ho, chief of Seoul National University's semiconductor research institute, was named science minister, while Chung Ho-young, former chief of Kyungpook National University Hospital, was nominated for health minister.

Park Bo-gyoon, former vice president of the JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, was named culture minister, and former Rep. Kim Hyun-sook was named minister of gender equality and family.

Yoon said his only criteria in picking the eight people were whether they were the best people to take charge of their respective areas and lead them in the interest of the country and the people.

The other nominees will be announced as soon as the vetting process is completed, he said.

"I have said since my campaign that I will not assign and distribute (personnel according to region or gender)," Yoon said. "When we search for and nominate the people who will most competently lead each ministry ... because the Republic of Korea's talents are not concentrated on one side, I believe a balance will be achieved by region, generation and gender."

This compilation image shows (from top L, clockwise) Choo Kyung-ho, Lee Chang-yang, Won Hee-ryong, Lee Jong-sup, Kim Hyun-sook, Park Bo-gyoon, Chung Ho-young and Lee Jong-ho. (Yonhap)

Yoon said Choo, a former economic bureaucrat, has been praised for his planning and coordination skills in conducting state affairs. As a lawmaker of the soon-to-be ruling People Power Party, Choo has also served as a ranking member of the parliamentary strategy and finance committee and a deputy floor leader.

If confirmed, Choo will double as deputy prime minister for the economy and minister of finance.

"I expect that he will use his expertise in public service and experience in parliament to establish a foundation for our economy to leap again and conduct smooth communication with the National Assembly," Yoon said during the press conference at the transition team's headquarters, flanked by the nominees.

On Defense Minister nominee Lee, Yoon said the Korea Military Academy graduate has held multiple key positions in the defense ministry and on the JCS, earning recognition for his expertise in military operations and crafting defense policy.

"He contributed greatly to the development of the South Korea-U.S. security alliance," Yoon said. "I expect he will establish firm security and a strong defense power while achieving close cooperation with our ally."

Choo, who currently serves on Yoon's transition team, said the incoming government's biggest task will be stabilizing prices and the public's livelihoods.

Meanwhile, Lee said it is important to build the country's own deterrence capabilities against North Korea's threats while making full use of the United States' military hardware.

"I believe we should push both axes," he said, referring to an effective policy against North Korea and building relations with the U.S.

The nominations came a month before Yoon takes office. Last Sunday, the president-elect named former Prime Minister Han Duck-soo as his first prime minister.

The nominations are subject to a parliamentary confirmation process, but only the prime minister requires the parliament's approval.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol announces his nominations for eight Cabinet members at the transition team's office in Seoul on April 10, 2022, flanked by the nominees and Prime Minister nominee Han Duck-soo (5th from L). (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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