Yoon refutes criticism over prosecutor-concentrated personnel appointments

June 8, 2022

President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday refuted criticism that former prosecutors dominate key government posts, saying those with legal experience are appointed to various government posts in advanced countries like the United States.

Yoon made the remark after his pick for the country’s financial watchdog chief further raised criticism that his personnel choices are skewed toward prosecutors.

Lee Bok-hyun, a former prosecutor who previously worked with Yoon, was tapped as Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) governor on Tuesday. It was the first time in the FSS history that a person with prosecution experience was named to lead the organization.

Yoon served as prosecutor general before he ran for president.

“Lee is an expert in market research and financial supervision regulations, so I think he is the right person,” Yoon told reporters upon arrival at the presidential office. “Organizations like the FSS and the Fair Trade Commission are regulatory authorities … and I have always thought they are proper places for those with law enforcement experience to show their capabilities.”

Yoon rebutted criticism that his pool of government official candidates is too small, pointing out that in the previous government, those with the Lawyers for a Democratic Society, an association of progressive lawyers, also known as Minbyun, dominated key positions.

“In advanced countries, especially in the United States, people with government attorney experience widely advance to the government and the political community,” he said. “That’s what a law-governing nation is.”

President Yoon Suk-yeol heads to his office in Seoul on June 8, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk-yeol heads to his office in Seoul on June 8, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)