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Yoon nominates former boss to head broadcasting watchdog

Dec. 6, 2023 - 11:48 By Son Ji-hyoung
Korea Communications Commission chief nominee Kim Hong-il speaks to reporters at the presidential office in Seoul on Wednesday. (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Wednesday nominated Kim Hong-il, the incumbent chief of the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, as the head of the Korea Communications Commission, the state broadcasting watchdog.

Kim, who joined the prosecution in 1982, was Yoon's boss in the early 2010s when the two worked at the Supreme Prosecutors' Office. Kim quit his job at the prosecution in 2013. He has been leading the anti-corruption watchdog since July.

Kim is set to go through a confirmation hearing at the National Assembly, where the majority of seats are held by the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea. However, the president does not need parliamentary approval for his pick.

Kim is to be tasked with the issue of whether to extend the broadcasting licenses for terrestrial networks here, comprising 141 programs across 34 broadcasters.

Yoon's decision comes after former KCC chief Lee Dong-gwan resigned from the post on Friday, in the face of impeachment threats from the Democratic Party. The main opposition party slammed him for his alleged role in influencing leadership posts at terrestrial television networks such as the Korea Broadcasting System and Munhwa Broadcasting System.

In November, Yoon approved the nomination of KBS President Park Min, amid the ongoing replacement of KBS boardroom directors. Park promised a major reform of the country’s largest public broadcaster.

Also on Wednesday, Yoon nominated presidential secretary Oh Seok-hwan as the new vice minister of education, as his predecessor Jang Sang-yoon became the new senior secretary for social affairs. Navy Col. Lee Hee-wan was also named as the new vice minister of patriots and veterans affairs.