South Korean president sacks finance minister, policy adviser

Business | 9 Nov 2018 1:53 pm

South Korean President Moon Jae In sacked the finance minister and his chief policy adviser today after the two top economic policymakers openly displayed a serious rift over how to handle the slumping economy.

Moon named Hong Nam Ki, an economic technocrat who is currently serving as chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination under the Prime Minister's Office, to replace Kim Dong Keon as finance minister and deputy prime minister for economic affairs, Yonhap reports.

Moon also sacked Jang Ha Sung, presidential chief of staff for policy, and named his senior social affairs secretary Kim Soo Hyun to succeed him. Jang is the architect of Moon's trademark "income-led" growth policy.

Kim and Jang have publicly displayed wide differences over how to revitalize the sluggish economy, with Kim voicing a need to alter the "income-led" growth policy and Jang insisting on sticking to the distribution-centered policy.

Their replacement was seen in part as aimed at revamping the economic team as they failed to produce tangible results in revitalizing Asia's fourth-largest economy. Their sacking was also seen as a measure to hold them responsible for failing to work in concert with each other.

Noh Hyeong Ouk, Hong's deputy, was named to succeed Hong as chief of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, while Kim Yeon-myung, a social welfare professor at Seoul's Chung-Ang University, was tapped to be the new senior social affairs secretary.

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