SEOUL, June 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday nominated new prime minister and spy agency chief, presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.
Moon Chang-keuk, a former journalist at the conservative JoongAng Ilbo newspaper, was chosen to replace the incumbent Prime Minister Chung Hong-won who has submitted resignation after the deadly ferry sinking disaster, presidential spokesman Min Kyung- wook told a press briefing.
The ferry Sewol capsized and sank off the southwestern coast on April 16, leaving more than 300 people, mostly high school students, dead or missing. Chung offered to step down from the country's No.2 administrative position to take responsibility for one of the country's deadliest maritime accidents.
Moon was born in Chungcheong province, seen here as the relatively gray area in domestic politics, as the region neither belongs to the Gyeongsang province, or a home turf of the ruling Saenuri Party, nor the Jeolla province, or a political base for the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD).
The spokesman said the prime minister nominee is an ex- journalist with firm convictions and determinations, who made efforts to put right wrong practices and evils through rational alternatives and the cool-headed criticism.
Min said the nominee will push for key state affairs such as overhauling the bureaucratic society and normalizing abnormal practices based on his excellent insight and impellent ability.
South Korean ambassador to Japan Lee Byung-ki was nominated new chief of the national intelligence service (NIS), the country' s spy agency, the spokesman said.
Lee served as director-general of the National Security Planning Agency (NSPA), the spy agency's predecessor, and a researcher at the Korea National Diplomatic Academy, the state-run think tank on foreign affairs and security.
The spokesman said the NIS nominee is a competent person who can lead the spy agency's unique role amid the grave inter-Korean situations and carry out its reform plan.