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Yoon expected to shake up Cabinet as early as Monday

Dec. 3, 2023 - 20:31 By Yonhap

President Yoon Suk Yeol (R) enters a Cabinet meeting at the presidential office in Seoul on Nov. 28, 2023, followed by Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol is expected to reshuffle his Cabinet as early as Monday, with up to 10 out of 19 ministers subject to replacement, sources said.

Yoon has widely been expected to shake up his Cabinet in the coming days as a number of ministers are reportedly planning to run for parliament in next April's general elections.

The ministers likely to be replaced are those for finance, land, SMEs, oceans, science, agriculture and labor. Industry Minister Bang Moon-kyu could be added to the list amid reports he is being urged by ruling camp officials to run for a seat in his hometown of Suwon, just south of Seoul.

A shakeup could help bring stability to a Cabinet in disarray following South Korea's failure to host the 2030 World Expo and the sudden resignation of Korea Communications Commission chief Lee Dong-kwan.

It could also add momentum to efforts to deliver results in key administrative tasks, including the Yoon administration's top three reform areas of pensions, labor and education.

Yoon is reportedly considering making nominations from among public officials, academics and experts.

Choi Sang-mok, former senior presidential secretary for economic affairs, is considered a top contender to replace Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho, while Park Sang-woo, former chief of state-run housing developer Korea Land & Housing Corp., is under consideration to replace Land Minister Won Hee-ryong.

The fate of Foreign Minister Park Jin will be watched closely in the upcoming reshuffle as he was at the forefront of South Korea's campaign to host the 2030 World Expo.

The presidential office is also reportedly reviewing possible replacements for Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon, as he is widely believed to be preparing to run for parliament.