Park Dismisses Senior Aides Amid Scandal

Write : 2016-10-31 08:42:33 Update : 2016-10-31 13:10:05

Park Dismisses Senior Aides Amid Scandal

Anchor: President Park Geun-hye has conducted a widely expected reshuffle of her office in response to the ensuing public uproar over the Choi Soon-sil scandal. A shake-up of Park's Cabinet is also likely to occur soon.
Kim Bum-soo has more.

Report: President Park Geun-hye has carried out a reshuffle of her office, firing most of her chief secretaries.

[Sound bite: Presidential Spokesman Jung Youn-kuk (Korean)]
"Recognizing the gravity of the situation, [the president] has carried out a reshuffle of the office of the president to answer growing calls... "

Presidential Spokesman Jung Youn-kuk told reporters on Sunday that chief presidential policy coordinator Ahn Jong-beom and senior civil affairs secretary Woo Byung-woo have been dismissed. 

Along with the two blamed for their part in the influence-peddling scandal involving the president's friend Choi Soon-sil, Park's chief of staff, chief political affairs and public relations secretaries were also dismissed.

The president also accepted the resignations of her private presidential secretary Jeong Ho-seong, secretary for general affairs Lee Jae-man and PR secretary Ahn Bong-geun. Known as the "three door knobs to the president," they have worked for Park in the closest proximity. However, the entourage wasn't free from blame as some said Choi Soon-sil's ex-husband recommended them to Park when they began working with her in 1998. 

All ten of her senior presidential secretaries tendered their resignations following her order Friday night, but the president kept her chief foreign and economic affairs secretaries. 

President Park named former prosecutor Choi Jai-kyeong as her new civil affairs secretary and former parliamentary speaker Bae Sung-rye as PR chief.

Vice Culture Minister Kim Chong also stepped down amid allegations that he assisted business activities of the president's 60-year old friend.

The presidential office is soon expected to announce replacements for the chief of staff, chief political affairs secretary and policy coordinator while mulling on a possible Cabinet reshuffle.

In a meeting on Sunday, the ruling Saenuri Party's Supreme Council agreed that the president should establish a bipartisan Cabinet that the ruling and opposition parties and the people can trust and accept.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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