Moon realigns foreign affairs and security officials in time for Biden administration
Updated: 2021-01-20 16:18:30 KST
President Moon Jae-in has picked Special Advisor for Foreign Affairs and Security, Chung Eui-yong as his new foreign minister.
Chung has extensive experience, including three years in charge of foreign affairs and security matters as Director of the National Security Office.
The Blue House said the reshuffle is an effort to revitalize diplomacy ahead of the start of the Biden administration.
"We hope he brings our diplomatic horizons and status to the next level by making further developments for peace on the Korean peninsula and the president's New Southern and Northern Policies."
The appointment is also believed to portray the Moon administration's willingness to revive talks with the North, which have been severed since the second North Korea-U.S. summit in Hanoi.
"Chung has experience as a special envoy to the U.S. and North Korea. Moreover, he is seen as a figure who has earned trust from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. So he has the capability to play the role of facilitator in North Korea-U.S. talks."
He is known to have played a key role in organizing previous talks between the leaders of the two Koreas and the U.S.
After delivering President Moon's letter to Kim Jong-un in March 2018, Chung visited President Trump in the White House and told Trump that Kim wishes to meet him.
This led to the Singapore Summit that June.
After being nominated for the role of foreign affairs minister, Chung said he would do his best to lay down the roots of peace on the Korean peninsula.
Another veteran diplomat, Kim Hyoung-zhin, was appointed as new deputy chief of the National Security Office.
He is well-experienced in North Korea's nuclear issues and diplomacy with the U.S. and China.
Kim replaces Kim Hyung-chong, who has been named as special advisor to the president on diplomatic and security issues.
Along with the realignment of foreign affairs and security related officials in time for the new Biden administration, President Moon will hold a National Security Council meeting on Thursday, during which he will be briefed by the foreign, defense and unification ministries.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.