Former admiral named head of new S. Korean safety agency

November 18, 2014
Park In-yong

Park In-yong

By Kang Seung-woo

President Park Geun-hye named former Navy Admiral Park In-yong, 62, as head of a newly established agency for public safety Tuesday.

The new organization has been set up to strengthen safety in the wake of April’s Sewol ferry disaster that claimed 295 lives with nine people listed as still missing.

“Park is the right person to lead the nation’s control tower for disaster management,” presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said.

Min cited Park’s experience in the Navy and with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Chang Myoung-jin, 62, a researcher at the Agency for Defense Development (ADD), was named as head of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA).

As an alumnus of President Park at Sogang University’s electronics engineering department, Chang is expected to play a leading role in rooting out corruption within the defense industry.

Kim In-soo, 50, was promoted to the vice chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission. He had served as director in charge of planning and coordination at the organization.

Hwang Boo-gi, 55, was also promoted as vice unification minister. As a career administrator, Hwang had served as director in charge of inter-Korean cooperation at the ministry.

Park also tapped Lee Geun-myeon, 62, a former Samsung Electronics official responsible for handling human resources, to lead the new body in charge of personnel management.

Lee Seong-ho, 60, currently vice minister of security and public administration, has been tapped as the No.2 official at the public safety agency.

Lee is noted for his outstanding commando operation in 2011 against Somali pirates who hijacked 21 crew members aboard a freighter.

For the post of presidential aide for education and cultural affairs, Park named Kim Sang-ryul, 54, a professor at Sookmyung Women’s University.

The recent reshuffle affected 11 ministerial and vice ministerial level officials.

Just before the nomination, the Cabinet approved plans for the creation of two bodies for public safety, one responsible for maritime security and the other for coping with disaster management.

The National Assembly passed a bill for dissolution of the Coast Guard and the National Emergency Management Agency amid criticism that they had failed to take appropriate action in response to the deadly ferry sinking.

President Park has pledged to take all possible steps to boost people’s safety by terminating corruption prevalent in officialdom.

The sinking of the 6,825-ton Sewol off the country’s southwest coast on April 16 left the nation focusing on the collusive ties between regulators and their former colleagues in the private sector.