New South Korean President Moon Jae-in took a first step in forming his new government Wednesday, appointing his new chief of staff and naming his choice for prime minister in a press conference that also named the new chief of the spy agency and head of the secret service.
As earlier confirmed by Yonhap through multiple sources, Lee Nak-yon, the incumbent governor of South Jeolla Province, was tapped as the new prime minister to replace outgoing Hwang Kyo-ahn.
The presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said Lee was well prepared to help lead the country.
"He has vast knowledge and experience in our social, state and global affairs as he has worked 21 years as a journalist, 14 years as a lawmaker and three years as a provincial governor," it said in a press release.
Lee's appointment as prime minister is subject to a parliamentary hearing, though it does not require approval of the parliament.
In his first press conference, Moon also named his new chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, a former lawmaker who had worked as his chief secretary in the lead up to the presidential election held Tuesday.
Im is most famous for his activities as a student activist, which included a high profile visit by a group of college students from here to North Korea to meet the founder and then leader of the reclusive communist state Kim Il-sung.
"While working as a lawmaker, Im served on the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs for six years, developing his expertise on foreign affairs. He is expected to help spearhead a stable role of the Cheong Wa Dae in the face of many difficult diplomatic issues surrounding the nation," the presidential office said.
"Also, he is said to be the best person to help realize the president's wish to improve the North-South Korean relations as he has much experience such affairs as he has also revised the law on support for (South Korean firms) at the Kaesong joint industrial complex," it added.
Suh Hoon, a former official at the National Intelligence Service, was named to head the spy agency, while Joo Young-hoon, an official at the presidential security service, has been named to lead the service.