President Moon Jae-in appointed his new foreign minister Sunday despite strong objections from opposition parties.The appointment came after the opposition-led parliament failed to issue a report on the outcome of its confirmation hearing for the new top diplomat, Kang Kyung-wha.
Moon earlier stressed a need to have a foreign minister before his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump later this month, as well as the Group of 20 summit in Germany in early July.
Presenting Kang with a letter of appointment in a ceremony at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, the president expressed regrets over disputes over his nomination and appointment of Kang.
"But we could no longer afford to keep the post of foreign minister vacant with the Korea-U.S. summit meeting just around the corner, as well as the G-20 summit and a series of meetings with other heads of state before the G-20 summit," Moon said, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.
"I believe the opposition parties will understand such a situation," he added.
The president also called on his new foreign minister to show actions that will prove the opposition parties' objections wrong.
"I want you to truly help expand the external appearance of our diplomatic relations and show how great our capabilities are," he said. "I hope you would make those who have opposed you realize that they were wrong."