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Ex-Minister Han Named as New Prime Minister
Han Duck-Soon to Be Comfirmed by National Assembly
South Korea's Prime Minister-Nominee Han Duck-Soon

President Roh Moo-Hyun on March 9, 2007 nominated former Finance Minister Han Duck-Soo to be the new prime minister, the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae (Blue House) said on the day.

The 58-year-old Han, if approved by the National Assembly after a confirmation hearing, will replace Han Myeong-Sook who resigned Wednesday as the nation's first woman prime minister.

Han Duck-Soo has been serving as a special presidential advisor for free trade agreement affairs since resigning as finance minister last July.

"I'll strive hard to help revitalize the economy, create more jobs and stabilize people's livelihoods," Han told reporters shortly after the announcement of his nomination.

"I feel a heavy burden and responsibility. I'll do my best to help the people improve their livelihoods and cherish hope for the future. In particular, I'll pay extra attention to the preparation and enforcement of efficient polices on the social safety net."
Roh also appointed former presidential civil affairs secretary Moon Jae-in as new presidential chief of staff.

The 54-year-old Moon, known as one of the president's most trusted confidants, will succeed Lee Byung-wan who offered to step down for personal reasons.

The president appointed Lee as his special advisor for political affairs.

Roh also promoted Yom Sang-guk, deputy chief of the Presidential Security Service (PSS), to become his chief bodyguard. Yom will succeed Kim Se-ok, who recently offered to resign as chief of the PSS.

"The new prime minister nominee, Han, is a reliable economic expert who has held key government posts at the economy, commerce and industry ministries over the past 36 years. On the basis of his outstanding expertise and experience, Han is expected to stably manage key state affairs in the last year of the president's tenure," said Park Nam-choon, senior presidential secretary for personnel affairs.

"As a rare example in the Korean bureaucracy, Han obtained a Harvard University doctorate displaying his strong academic enthusiasm and theoretical foundation in economics," he noted.

Regarding the new Cheong Wa Dae chief of staff, the secretary said that Moon, as a former human rights lawyer, has an outstanding capability to mediate social conflicts.

"Moon has a full and deep understanding of the president's governing philosophy as he spent more than three years in stints at Cheong Wa Dae during the Roh presidency. He is expected to help the president successfully conclude his last year in office," said Park. (Yonhap News)






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