President Moon Jae-in reshuffled his Cabinet and presidential office on Friday following the severe blow dealt to the ruling party in the by-elections earlier this month.
Moon named former interior minister Kim Boo-kyum prime minister. If confirmed by the National Assembly, Kim will replace Chung Sye-kyun, widely considered a 2022 presidential hopeful.
Kim, who in the 2016 general elections won a key district in the conservative city of Daegu, is considered a conciliator in Korea's polarized political climate.
The presidential office said Moon also replaced five ministers. Noh Hyeong-ouk was named land minister, while Moon Sung-wook was named trade minister. An Kyung-duk was nominated for employment minister, followed by Lim Hye-sook as science minister, and Park Jun-young as oceans and fisheries minister.
From the presidential office, Moon replaced four of his aides, including his senior secretaries for political affairs and social policy as well as his spokesperson. Former Democratic Party Rep. Lee Cheol-hee was named the senior secretary for political affairs.
Lee Tae-han was named senior secretary for social policy, while Park Kyung-mee was named the new spokesperson. Ki Mo-ran, professor of preventive medicine at the National Cancer Center, was given the new post of secretary of disease control and prevention.