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South Korean president reshuffles cabinet, nominates former journalist as PM

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has submitted nominees for the position of prime minister and the head of South Korea's intelligence agency, in the latest cabinet reshuffle.
By JC Finley   |   June 10, 2014 at 3:37 PM   |   Comments

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SEOUL, June 10 (UPI) -- South Korean President Park Geun-hye is reshuffling her cabinet in an apparent attempt to reverse low approval ratings over the government's handling of the Sewol ferry disaster.

The presidential office announced Tuesday that Park has named former newspaper journalist Moon Chang-keuk as a nominee for prime minister. The position of prime minister in South Korea is largely ceremonial.

If confirmed, Moon would replace Chung Hong-won, who offered to resign in April after the government's rescue effort was harshly criticized.

Park replaced her national security adviser soon after the ferry disaster.

More than 300 people, mostly high school students, perished off the coast of South Korea when the Sewol ferry they were on capsized on April 16. Search and recovery efforts are still underway for the 12 passengers still missing. Officials claim the ship was overloaded and traveling too fast. 15 people have been arrested in connection to the incident, with charges ranging from homicide to negligence.

Park has also tapped South Korean Ambassador to Japan Lee Byung-kee to lead the National Intelligence Service, which itself has been plagued by scandal.

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