Cho Seok to lead battle against electricity woes
President Lee Myung-bak appointed Korea Industrial Complex Corp. (KICOX) President Cho Seok as vice minister of knowledge economy Monday in a small reshuffle.
Cho graduated from Seoul National University in 1981 and started his career as a bureaucrat in early 1982 to assume a host of jobs at the Seoul Metropolitan City and the central government.
Beginning in 2001, he has taken top posts at the commerce ministry, now the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE), before leaving the government to lead KICOX midway through 2011.
The life-time bureaucrat has returned to the MKE as the vice minister to spearhead the country’s policies on energy and resources.
Cho studied at Missouri State University and received his Ph.D. in economics from Kyung Hee University in 2007.
The MKE said that the 54-year-old is the right person to boost the country’s brisk efforts to develop resources overseas and stabilize the supply of energy.
``Cho has both experiences and expertise in energy and resources. He will be the perfect fit to deal with the two tough missions, which have gained importance of late,’’ an MKE official said.
The MKE has suffered setbacks over the past few months due to blackouts in September, which affected millions of households when a heat wave prompted a surge in energy consumption.
The government decided on unprecedented rolling blackouts to deal with the problem without any prior notification. This caused an uproar from the public, who suffered inconveniences.
The country is feared to face further power cuts this winter because the demand of electricity is likely to outstrip the supply during cold spells.
In this climate, the MKE has homed in on a variety of measures to contain energy demand but concerns keep sprouting up that the nation may see a recurrence of power outages.
``Cho would take responsibility for the country’s uphill battle against controlling the power demand and increasing electricity supply,’’ the MKE official said.
Meanwhile, Small and Medium Business Corporation head Song Jong-ho was named to lead the Small and Medium Business Association, a government agency in charge of supporting small-sized enterprises.