According to reports citing unnamed sources, Cheong Wa Dae is nearing the end of its selection process, and the new presidential aides are likely to attend Moon’s New Year press conference on Thursday.
|South Korean Ambassador to China Noh Young-min (left), Ambassador to the US Cho Yoon-je (center) and former Minister of Culture and Tourism Jung Dong-chae. Yonhap|
It is speculated that South Korean Ambassador to China Noh Young-min is the favorite to replace Im Jong-seok as Moon’s chief of staff.
Along with Noh, South Korean Ambassador to the US Cho Yoon-je and former Minister of Culture and Tourism Jung Dong-chae have also been linked to the position.
Noh, a close associate of Moon, served three terms in the National Assembly and held a key post in the president’s election campaign in 2017.
Along with the chief of staff, Moon’s senior press secretary Yoon Young-chan and senior secretary for political affairs Han Byung-do are among those who could be replaced, according to news reports.
News reports citing unnamed sources have also raised possibility of replacing National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong with National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon.
The office of the senior secretary for civil affairs reportedly has not been linked to the reshuffle, prompting heavy criticism from the main opposition Liberty Korea Party.
The office, led by Cho Kuk, is at the center of a controversy surrounding Kim Tae-woo who accuses the Moon Jae-in administration of surveilling civilians and burying reports damaging to those with ties to the administration and the ruling Democratic Party.
“(The reshuffle) is said to leave the civil affairs secretary’s office, whose countless faults have been proven, untouched,” the Liberty Korea Party’s interim leader Kim Byung-joon said. Going on to claim that a reshuffle is meaningless without changes to the civil affairs office, Kim accused the presidential office of making a show of reform.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)