SEOUL, June 12 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Thursday replaced four senior secretaries to her as part of efforts to regain public confidence lost after the ferry sinking disaster.
Presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook told a press briefing that Cho Yoon-sun, minister of gender equality and family, was nominated as the country's first female senior secretary for political affairs.
Min said that Cho will serve as an excellent mediator between the government and the parliament given her rich experience, including the gender equality minister, lawmaker and spokesperson of the ruling Saenuri Party.
Ahn Chong-bum, a ruling party lawmaker, was named as senior economic affairs secretary due to his expertise in tax, finance and welfare that Ahn gained when he served as economics professor and vice chairman of the ruling party's policy planning committee.
Kim Young-han, a former senior prosecutor, was nominated as senior secretary for civil affairs, while Song Kwang-yong, former president at the Seoul National University of Education, was named as senior secretary in charge of education and culture.
Among a total of nine, four senior presidential secretaries were replaced, reflecting President Park's eagerness to regain public confidence following the deadly ferry disaster.
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.
The Park administration has been under harsh pressure due to the bungling of its initial rescue operations and lax safety standards, which many claimed contributed to a surge in victims.
Following the maritime disaster, Park's approval rating fell below 50 percent for the first time since she took office in February last year.
The presidential spokesman said Park reshuffled her advisers to strongly push for state affairs such as the national reform plan and the three-year plan for economic innovation.
Kim Ki-choon, the presidential chief of staff who has been pressured by opposition parties to resign, remained in office.