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Monday, August 07, 2000, updated at 13:44(GMT+8)

S.Korea Cabinet Reshuffled

South Korean President Kim Dae-jung Monday reshuffled his cabinet, replacing eight ministers and three ministerial level officials.

It is believed that the reshuffle is linked with the effort to build a more competitive South Korean economy.

Jin Nyum, former planning and budget minister, was appointed the finance and economy minister, a post to be elevated to the deputy prime minister level.

Song Ja, president of Myong Ji University, was picked up as new education minister, also to be elevated to deputy prime minister level.

Jeon Yun-churl, head of the Fair Trade Commission, was named as minister for planning and budget while Korea Development Bank Governor Lee Keun-young is the chairman of the Financial Supervisory Commission.

Han Kap-soo, president of Korea Gas Corp., was appointed the minister for agriculture and forestry and Shin Kook-hwan minister for commerce, industry and energy. Both Han and Shin are members of the ruling coalition United Liberal Democrats (ULD).

Labor Minister Choi Sun-jung was changed to minister for health and welfare while Kim Ho-jin, chairman of the tripartite labor affairs committee, takes helm of the Labor Ministry.

Kim Ho-jin is replaced by former lawmaker Chang Yung-chul. Former lawmaker Noh Moo-hyun takes over as minister for maritime affairs and fisheries.

Lee Nam-kee, deputy chief of FTC, was promoted to the commission's top post.

After the announcement of the reshuffle, South Korean presidential spokesman Park Joon-young said President Kim's appointments of the new ministers are based on their reform-mindedness, field expertise, capability and commitment.

"President Kim was especially emphatic about team work among economic, diplomatic, national security and social sectors so that they can play as a team," said Park.

The spokesman added the president will take time to consider follow-up reshuffle in senior secretariat and vice ministers.

Political analysts here said Monday's reshuffle of the cabinet ministers shows President Kim Dae-jung's strong wish to enhance the international competitiveness of South Korean economy through continued reforms in the corporate, government, financial and labor sectors after the nation has overcome the financial crisis caused by corporate bankruptcies and bad loans of financial institutions in late 1997.

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South Korean President Kim Dae-jung Monday reshuffled his cabinet, replacing eight ministers and three ministerial level officials.

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