South Korean President Moon Jae-in is said to be seeking to replace his chief of staff as early as within this month, two months after he changed his top commanders on economic policy, to propel the government’s drive to revive the economy.
According to several high-ranking sources on Thursday, Moon has ordered to conduct background checks of about five to six shortlisted candidates for new chief presidential secretary as part of efforts to complete the reshuffle of his staff as soon as possible to pay full attention to economic policies.
Sources found Noh Young-min, Korean ambassador to China, is the strongest candidate to replace current presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok. Others include Democratic Party lawmaker Song Young-gil, Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Cho Yoon-je, former culture and tourism minister Chung Dong-chae, former deputy presidential chief of staff Yang Jung-chul and National Assembly Secretary-General Yoo In-tae for the position.
Noh, one of Moon’s closest advisers, played key roles in Moon’s camp during the 2012 and 2017 presidential elections. The former three-term lawmaker from the ruling Democratic Party has an ample experience in economic policy.
Moon is also seeking to replace other top aides including Lee Yong-sun, senior secretary for civic affairs and Yoon Young-chan, top press secretary.
This would be the second major staff reshuffle for the Moon government that took office in May 2017. In early November, President Moon replaced the deputy prime minister for economy and finance minister to Hong Nam-ki from Kim Dong-yeon, as well as senior presidential secretary for social affairs to Kim Soo-hyun from Jang Ha-sung amid the faltering economy.
By Oh Soo-hyun and Choi Mira
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]