President Moon Jae-in has nominated former Vice Justice Minister Kim Oh-soo as the new prosecutor general.
The presidential office said on Monday that President Moon approved Justice Minister Park Beom-kye’s recommendation earlier in the day to choose Kim from among the four finalists.
Kim served as a deputy to the previous three former justice ministers under the Moon administration - Park Sang-kee, Cho Kuk and Choo Mi-ae. He was shortlisted last Thursday by a recommendation committee led by former Minister Park Sang-kee.
The other three finalists for the post were Koo Bon-seon, head of the Gwangju High Public Prosecutors’ Office; Institute of Justice President Bae Seong-beom; and acting Prosecutor General Cho Nam-kwan.
Presidential spokesperson Park Kyung-mee noted Kim’s diverse experience throughout his career at the prosecution, saying he has handled major cases according to the law and with principle. She said she looked forward to seeing Kim bring stability to the prosecution, while undertaking reform, calling it a mandate of the era.
The prosecutor general's post has been vacant for two months since Yoon Seok-youl resigned after months of public conflict with former Justice Minister Choo over prosecution reforms.
Meanwhile, the nominee said stability of the prosecution will likely top his list of priorities as chief prosecutor.
In a meeting with reporters on Tuesday, Kim said if he is appointed prosecutor general, stabilizing the organization will be on the top of his agenda, adding he feels a heavy sense of responsibility.
The political community showed mixed reactions to his nomination with the ruling Democratic Party expecting him to continue prosecution reforms while the main opposition People Power Party criticized the nomination of what it called a pro-government figure.
Kim needs to go through a parliamentary confirmation hearing, but the nomination itself does not require lawmakers' consent.