SEOUL, June 13 South Korean President Park
Geun-hye replaced her finance minister with a three-term member
of parliament and close policy confidant in a cabinet reshuffle
on Friday in the aftermath of a ferry disaster that killed more
than 300 people.
Choi Kyung-hwan, 59, has previously served as industry and
energy minister and ruling party parliamentary floor leader and
is seen as having extensive experience in both national politics
and the bureaucracy.
Choi, who will serve as deputy prime minister, is expected
to spearhead Park's plan to bring innovation to boost Asia's
fourth-largest economy by focusing on stimulating domestic
demand and creating jobs.
Choi inherits a tough role of driving Park's three-year
economic revival plan to shifting the focus of economic policy
away from backing big exporting industries to strengthening
"I will try hard to help revive the livelihoods of economic
players," Choi told reporters after the nomination, but
declined to discuss details such as his view of foreign exchange
and interest rate policies.
"I think it's important (for me) to produce achievements in
the government's efforts to further reform," he said.
Park named new ministers to six other cabinet posts
including science, education and safety and government
Park's government had come under sharp criticism for its
handling of the April 16 ferry disaster in which more than 300
passengers, many of them schoolchildren, drowned.
She vowed to reform government bureaucracy and improve
The cabinet reshuffle comes after the nomination of a new
prime minister earlier in the week to replace an incumbent who
resigned taking responsibility for the handling of the ferry
All nominee cabinet members have appear at parliamentary
hearings, although the assembly cannot block appointments except
for the nominee prime minister.
(Reporting by Jack Kim; Additional reporting by Christine Kim;
Editing by Choonsik Yoo)