South Korean President Moon Jae-in (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in on Friday replaced his top foreign policy and national security officials, naming Suh Hoon director of the National Security Office, top security adviser to the president.
Suh, incumbent spy chief, is a longtime veteran on North Korea policy who helped to orchestrate the three inter-Korean summits in 2018.
Park Jie-won, a former special envoy to North Korea who met both Kim Jong-un and his late father Kim Jong-il, was named to head the spy agency.
The four-term lawmaker is a vocal supporter of Seoul’s Sunshine Policy centered on reengaging with Pyongyang.
Both Suh and Park are expected to carry on with Moon’s initiative to reach out to the North, amid bumpy inter-Korean relations, further marred by Pyongyang’s latest demolition of an inter-Korean liaison office over anti-North leaflets.
Lee In-young, a four-term lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party, was appointed unification minister, in charge of inter-Korean affairs.
While Park and Lee will have to go through a parliamentary hearing, they can begin work upon Moon’s appointment, without parliament’s approval.
By Choi Si-young (firstname.lastname@example.org