June 19, 2017 11:15
President Moon Jae-in on Sunday appointed Kang Kyung-wha as foreign minister over resistance from opposition parties who say she is unfit to serve in the post.
Kang is the second member of Moon's Cabinet to be appointed without National Assembly approval. The other is Fair Trade Commission Chairman Kim Sang-jo.
Her appointment came 28 days after she was nominated for the job, and Cheong Wa Dae claims she must attend to "urgent" diplomatic issues. The National Assembly got bogged down in squabbles over her confirmation and was unlikely to find a way out of the deadlock.
Moon said it is "regrettable" that parliament has been unable to agree on the appointment, "but with the imminent Korea-U.S. summit and the G20 summit to follow, we could no longer leave the foreign minister's post empty."
Lawmakers accuse Kang, a former UN official, of various wrongdoings, including tax evasion and registering a false address for her daughter. Both are common offenses among the political class that Moon had vowed on the stump would disqualify candidates from his Cabinet.
Liberty Korea Party spokesman Jung Joon-gil said, "We will try our best to nullify the president's improper choice, including recommending her dismissal."
And People's Party spokesman Kim Soo-min said, "The Moon Jae-in administration is deliberately destroying the basis of cooperation."
Bareun Party spokeswoman Cho Young-hee said Moon "effectively rejected cooperation with the National Assembly and sabotaged the confirmation process."
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