Yoon appoints ex-deputy Assembly speaker as chief of staff

President Yoon Suk Yeol introduces his new chief of staff Chung Jin-suk during a press briefing at the presidential office in Yongsan District, Seoul, Monday. Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol appointed former National Assembly Deputy Speaker Chung Jin-suk of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) as his new chief of staff, Monday, seeking to leverage the political expertise of the five-term lawmaker against the current backdrop of the opposition bloc controlling parliament.While he expects the seasoned politician to help improve his communication with the opposition following the ruling party’s crushing defeat in the April 10 general elections, the Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) labelled Chung as the “wrong pick.”In a rare appearance before the press, the president personally introduced Chung and also fielded questions from reporters, apparently in response to criticism urging Yoon to adjust his approach to communicating with the public.“As you may know, Chung is known for fostering amicable relationships across the landscape of Korean politics,” Yoon said. “I expect him to serve his role as the presidential chief of staff by facilitating seamless communication, not only within the presidential office, but also with the Cabinet, opposition parties, media, and the public, ensuring effective coordination across all sectors.”Chung is Yoon’s third chief of staff, replacing Lee Kwan-sup, who offered to resign along with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and other senior secretaries following the general elections, in which the PPP secured only 108 of the 300-member Assembly.“I foresee challenges ahead, especially with the opposition controlling the Assembly, and I believe it is my responsibility to support the Yoon administration and the president himself,” Chung said.

“I believe the president’s remarks indicate his intention to pursue a politics of reconciliation, and I am committed to assisting him in fostering communication, conciliation, and unity.”Chung served as the deputy speaker in the current 21st Assembly. From 2010 to 2011, he worked for former President Lee Myung-bak as senior secretary for political affairs.In recent years, he led the PPP as an interim leader from July 2022 to March of the following year, during a period marked by internal disputes between Yoon loyalists and others vying for the chairmanship. Despite his extensive political experience, the 63-year-old saw his bid for a sixth term thwarted in the April 10 elections.Given his background, Chung’s appointment is seen as a strategic move by the president to gain political leverage in his dealings with the opposition-controlled Assembly. Unlike Yoon’s previous chiefs of staff, Lee and Kim Dae-ki, who were career bureaucrats with expertise in economic policies, Chung brings extensive experience in navigating political dynamics, particularly within the realm of inter-party relations.After the election defeat, Yoon promised to change his approach to running the government and seek more cooperation with the DPK in handling state affairs.“For the past two years, our focus has been on formulating crucial national objectives into policies and diligently implementing them,” the president said.“Now that policy directions have been established, our next task is to persuade and communicate these directions effectively to the public. In this endeavor, we will prioritize persuading and communicating with the opposition party. This is precisely why I appointed Chung to the 스포츠토토존 role

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