Kim Hyun-chong, former chief negotiator for the Korea-U.S. Free Trade Agreement (FTA) under former Roh Moo-hyun administration, was named the new trade representative, the presidential office said Sunday.
Prosecutor-turned-lawyer Kim Yung-moon was appointed to head the Korea Customs Service.
Kim Hyun-chong will be returning to the post in charge of trade negotiations that became the responsibility of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy instead of the foreign ministry as part of an administrative reorganization under the new government.
He is currently a member of the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body and professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.
Kim’s appointment comes after Washington has demanded Seoul to form a joint committee to revise terms on the five-year-old bilateral free trade pact, which President Donald Trump defined as a “horrible deal” that killed U.S. jobs.
Kim Young-moon, a former senior prosecutor at the Daegu District Public Prosecutor’s Office, was tapped to lead the Korea Customs Service, which came under criticism for coming under political influence in awarding duty-free store licenses. He is currently a partner at Jipyoung Law Firm.
By Oh Soo-hyun
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