(2nd LD) Yoon replaces industry minister in Cabinet reshuffle

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Sunday named a new industry minister in a Cabinet reshuffle that will replace the country's industry chief after just three months.

Trade Minister Ahn Duk-geun was nominated as the new minister of trade, industry and energy, presidential chief of staff Kim Dae-ki told reporters. Ahn's nomination came about two weeks after Yoon carried out a partial Cabinet reshuffle that replaced six Cabinet posts.

"Ahn is an expert in international trade with expertise in both theory and practice, and shows great competence in responding successfully to various trade issues as the current trade minister," Kim said.

"We expect the nominee to accelerate the promotion of exports, as well as fostering key strategic industries and innovating industrial regulations, to revitalize our economy and lead the expansion of our economic horizons with verified skills and expansive networks both at home and abroad," he added.

Ahn's appointment comes three months after incumbent minister Bang Moon-kyu assumed the post in September. Bang is widely expected to run in the general elections in April.

As an expert in the field of international trade and commerce, Ahn was an adviser to the foreign ministry and the industry ministry.

He also served as the first trade minister under the Yoon administration, dealing with key issues in economic security, including diversifying South Korea's supply chains and the United States' Inflation Reduction Act.

The president could also name new nominees to helm the foreign ministry, the presidential National Security Office and the National Intelligence Service (NIS) as early as Monday.

Foreign Minister Park Jin is widely believed to be considering a run in the general elections in April, while NIS Director Kim Kyou-hyun and his two deputies resigned in late November in the wake of a controversy over the agency's personnel management.

First Vice Foreign Minister Chang Ho-jin and Cho Tae-yul, who previously served as Seoul's ambassador to Spain and the United Nations, are reportedly being considered for the role of the country's top diplomat.

Cho Tae-yong, Yoon's national security advisor, is widely believed to be a strong candidate for new NIS director.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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