S Korea’s Park names ex-chief justice as new PM

May 23, 2014 - 8:50:19 am

SEOUL: South Korean President Park Geun-Hye yesterday named a former Supreme Court judge as her new prime minister, as the fallout from last month’s ferry disaster casts a long shadow over upcoming local elections.

Park also accepted the resignations of the chief of national security as well as her spy chief, presidential spokesman Min Kyung-Wook announced.

Ahn Dai-Hee, 59, is to replace outgoing Prime Minister Chung Hong-Won, who offered his resignation last month over the April 16 ferry disaster, which claimed around 300 lives.

“We believe that he is a right person to strongly push ahead with reforming government organs, correcting wrong practices and eventually transforming the country”, the spokesman said.

Park accepted resignations offered by Nam Jae-Joon, the head of the country’s National Intelligence Service, as well as Kim Jang-Soo, the head of the National Security Council.

Both Nam and Kim came under criticism over their inaction when the disaster struck.

Ahn still needs parliamentary consent to officially be declared as prime minister, but this is a formality because the ruling Saenuri Party has majority status in the National Assembly.              AFP