Park Names New Prime Minister, Spy Chief

Moon Chang-keuk Moon Chang-keuk

President Park Geun-hye on Tuesday nominated Moon Chang-keuk, a former chief editorial writer at the Joongang Ilbo, as the new prime minister. It is the first time for a career journalist to hold the post.

Park also named Ambassador to Japan Lee Byung-kee (67) as the new director of the National Intelligence Service.

Moon (66) was born in Cheongju, North Chungcheong Province and is also the first prime minister from that province. A Cheong Wa dae official said, "Moon's native place was also taken into consideration as a way of contributing to regional reconciliation."

Lee Byung-kee Lee Byung-kee

Lee, a career diplomat, is close to Park, like many of her appointments. Former NIS chief Nam Jae-joon, who resigned in disgrace, was another close associate of hers.

Park nominated Moon 14 days after an earlier nominee, Ahn Dai-hee, withdrew over an earnings scandal. A reshuffle of the Cabinet and Cheong Wa Dae is expected to follow soon.

Park is leaving on June 16 for a visit to three Central Asian nations and will probably conduct a medium-sized reshuffle replacing seven to eight ministers once she returns. / Jun. 11, 2014 11:12 KST