President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol will begin his term on May 10, but faces a bumpy road ahead as he must work with the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK), which dominates the National Assembly with a majority of more than 170 seats.
President-elect Yoon’s co-habitation with Chairman Ahn Cheol-soo of the People Party (PP) started seamlessly as President-elect Yoon appointed Ahn to head the president-elect transition committee.
President-elect Yoon’s appointing Ahn to lead the committee was construed as a move to make the most of the experience and expertise Ahn’s accumulated while running a company and serving as a doctor.
The transit committee is responsible for setting national agendas and establishing the philosophy the new government will implement during its five-year rule.
After winning the presidential election, President-elect Yoon declared national unity and pledged to cooperate with the DPK. Yoon and government of outgoing President Moon Jae-in have collided over some issues, including the appointment of some high-officeholders.
President-elect Yoon nominated former prime minister Han Duck-soo to join the new government as prime minister.
In a press conference on April 3, Yoon said Han was picked as he has served in various key positions “regardless of political allegiance but only due to his capability and expertise.”
President-elect Yoon announced the selection of eight minister nominees, including PPP lawmaker Choo Kyung-ho, deputy prime minister and mister-designate of the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF).
Choo is a seasoned former economic policy-maker, versed in a wide array of careers such as ones with the predecessor of MOEF and the Financial Services Commission (FSC).
He held positions such as director in charge of bank system and director in financial policy with the predecessor of MOEF as well as FSC’s director-general in charge of financial policy and vice chairman.
He also served as a presidential secretary for economic and financial affairs and MOEF vice minister of the Office of Government Policy Coordination. Choo was reelected from the constituent in Dalseong, Gyeongbuk. He is now serving as head of the planning and coordination subcommittee of President-elect Yoon’s transit committee.
He is known to have played a key role in devising the president-elect’s economic platform. Choo said on April 10 upon his nomination, the new government will prioritize in stabilizing prices.
Jeju Gov. Won Hee-ryong was tapped as minister-designate of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), while Professor Lee Chang-yang of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology was chosen as minister-nominee of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE).
Lee is an veteran former policy-maker who was versed in trade and industry policies for 15 years after entering the predecessor of MOTIE.
Yoon tapped former vice chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lee Jong-sup as his first defense minister.
Lee Jong-ho, the head of a semiconductor research center at Seoul National University, was chosen for science and ICT minister.
Park Bo-kyun, former vice president of the JoongAng Ilbo daily and a special adviser to Yoon, was chosen for culture, sports and tourism minister. Former Rep. Kim Hyun-sook was nominated for minister of family and gender equality.
On April 13, President-elect Yoon nominated eight new minister nominees, including ex-president Kim In-chul of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, tapped as deputy prime minister and education minister.
Han Dong-hoon, vice president of the Judicial Research and Training Institute, and one of President-elect Yoon’s close associates, was tapped to be justice minister.
Rep. Park Jin, a four-time lawmaker from PPP, was nominated for the foreign minister position. Kwon Young-se, a four-time lawmaker from PPP, was chosen for unification minister, while Lee Sang-min, former vice chief of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, was nominated for minister of interior and safety.
President-elect Yoon tapped Han Hwa-jin, an emeritus researcher at Korea Environment Institute, as environment minister nominee and tapped Cho Seung-hwan, former chief of the Korea Institute of Marine Science and Technology Promotion as minister of oceans and fisheries.
Rep. Lee Young from PPP was chosen as minister of SMEs and startups. Yoon also named Kim Dae-ki as the presidential chief of staff.
Lee Jung-sik, former secretary general of the Korea Labor and Employment Service, was nominated as employment and labor minister.
President-elect Yoon tapped former administrator Chung Hwang-geun of the Rural Development Administration as minister-nominee for the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.