Published: 10:46, January 20, 2021 | Updated: 04:39, June 5, 2023
ROK's Moon names ex-security adviser as new foreign minister
By Reuters

Chung Eui-yong, then head of the Republic of Korea's presidential National Security Office, walks to board an aircraft as he leaves for Pyongyang at a military airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, on Sept 5, 2018. (JUNG YEON-JE / POOL / AFP)

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea (ROK)’s President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday named Chung Eui-yong, former top national security adviser, as the new foreign minister, according to the presidential Blue House.

Chung, a career diplomat, served as the director of the presidential National Security Office (NSO) for the first three years of the five-year Moon government beginning May 2017.

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The naming of Chung Eui-yong, 74, to replace Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister was seen as a bid to help revive stalled denuclearization talks

During his tenure, Chung was deeply involved in the Korean Peninsula peace process, including negotiation between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States, the Blue House said.

The naming of Chung, 74, to replace Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister was seen as a bid to help revive stalled denuclearization talks.

Chung joined Moon on a visit to the DPRK in 2018 and helped broker US President Donald Trump’s unprecedented first meeting with Kim Jong-un.

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The reshuffle came two days after Moon called for Biden to hold dialogue with DPRK to build on progress made by Kim and Trump at their first meeting in Singapore.

A trade expert, Chung spent three years as Moon's security adviser until he retired last July.

Chung is an “expert who has devoted his entire life to the field of diplomacy and security,” said Chung Man-ho, a senior public communication secretary for the president’s office.

ROK's main opposition party criticized Chung's nomination, saying it reflected Moon's unwillingness to take a new approach to prevent another mediation failure.

Moon nominated Hwang Hee, a lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, as the minister of culture, sports and tourism in a partial cabinet reshuffle.

Kwon Chil-seung, another Democratic Party lawmaker, was picked as the minister of SMEs and startups.