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Posted : 2010-09-16 18:48
Updated : 2010-09-16 18:48

Chief auditor tapped as prime minister


Kim Hwang-sik, chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection, smiles at the National Assembly Thursday, after being nominated as prime minister.
/ Korea Times photo
by Oh Dae-keun
By Na Jeong-ju

President Lee Myung-bak has nominated the chief state auditor Kim Hwang-sik as the new prime minister, Cheong Wa Dae announced Thursday.

The National Assembly is expected to hold a confirmation hearing in a few weeks to review his qualifications. If he gets approval, he will succeed Chung Un-chan, who resigned in late July over his failed attempt to revise the Sejong administrative town project in South Chungcheong Province.

Kim, a native of Jangseong, South Jeolla Province, will also become the first prime minister from the southwestern province since the establishment of the Republic of Korea in 1948.

The 62-year-old former Supreme Court justice has been serving as the chairman of the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) since July 2008.

“A man of high integrity and morality, Kim has been an example for many public employees. We believe he is the best person to lead our efforts to create a fair society,” presidential chief of staff Yim Tae-hee told reporters.

Opposition parties vowed a tough hearing for the nominee.

One of the likely issues of hot debate is the fact that he was exempted from military service for health reasons.

“The presidential office held a mock hearing for Kim. We found few ethical problems with him,” a spokesman said.

In 2008, Kim already received confirmation from the National Assembly as the nominee for BAI chief.

Presidential aides said integrity was the No. 1 priority in selecting the candidate for the top cabinet post.

Some sources said Lee might have considered Kim’s hometown in selecting him. The Jeolla provinces are a stronghold of the main opposition Democratic Party.

In the Aug. 8 Cabinet reshuffle, the conservative leader chose nominees for the prime minister and seven ministers.

However, Premier-nominee Kim Tae-ho, Culture Minister-nominee Shin Jae-min and Knowledge Economy Minister-designate Lee Jae-hoon withdrew weeks later after their ethical qualifications were questioned at the National Assembly confirmation hearings.

Kim Hwang-sik studied law at Seoul National University. He passed the state bar exam in 1972 and became a judge at a local court. He served as a Supreme Court justice from 2005 to 2008.
In the Aug. 8 Cabinet reshuffle, the conservative leader chose nominees for the prime minister and seven ministers.

However, Premier-nominee Kim Tae-ho, Culture Minister-nominee Shin Jae-min and Knowledge Economy Minister-designate Lee Jae-hoon withdrew weeks later after their ethical qualifications were questioned at the National Assembly confirmation hearings.

The nominee Kim studied law at Seoul National University. He passed the state bar exam in 1972 and became a judge at a local court. He served as a Supreme Court justice from 2005 to 2008.



김황식 감사원장 총리 내정

청와대은 목요일 이명박 대통령이 김황식 감사원장을 신임 총리 후보로 지명했다고 발표했다. 국회는 후보의 자격을 검증할 청문회를 수 주 안에 열 예정이다. 청문회 후 국회 승인이 나면 지난 7월 말 세종시 문제로 사퇴한 정운찬 총리의 뒤를 이어 새로운 총리가 된다.

전라남도 장성 출신인 김 내정자는 1948년 대한민국 출범 이후로 첫 호남지역 출신 총리가 된다.

올해로 62세인 전직 대법원 판사인 김황식은 2008년 7월부터 감사원장직을 맡아왔다. 임태희 대통령실장은 기자들에게 김원장은 그의 성실성과 도덕성으로 많은 공무원들에게 본보기가 되었다면서 공평한 사회를 만들고자 하는 정부의 노력을 잘 이끌어줄 최적의 사람이라고 밝혔다.

이에 대해 야당들은 혹독한 검증을 할 것으로 벼르고 있으며 김 원장이 건강상의 문제로 군 면제를 받은 부분에 초점이 맞춰질 것으로 보인다.

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