(3rd LD) Yoon names PPP lawmaker Chung as chief of staff

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Monday named five-term ruling party lawmaker Chung Jin-suk as his new chief of staff, the first personnel replacement since the party's crushing defeat in the April 10 parliamentary elections. Yoon personally announced Chung's nomination at the presidential office, the first time he made a personnel announcement to the press since taking office in May 2022. "(Chung) has good relations with people across the political aisle," he said. "So I expect him to carry out his duties well by communicating smoothly not only with Yongsan staff but also with the Cabinet, the ruling and opposition parties, the press, and across the civic sector." Yongsan is often used as shorthand for the presidential office, as it is the name of the district where the office is located. Chung of the People Power Party (PPP) is known to be close to the president and equipped with the necessary political expertise, having worked as senior presidential secretary for political affairs for former President Lee M yung-bak. Yoon recently met Chung and offered him the position, according to political sources. Chung will replace Lee Kwan-sup, who has submitted his resignation along with Prime Minister Han Duck-soo and most senior presidential secretaries to take responsibility for the PPP's crushing defeat in the April 10 parliamentary elections. The new chief of staff began his career as a reporter for the Hankook Ilbo newspaper, where he spent 15 years covering politics, working as a correspondent in Washington, and writing editorials. He first won election to the National Assembly in 2000 in the central city of Gongju, 119 kilometers south of Seoul, and was reelected four more times. Additionally, he served at the presidential office and in senior positions within the party and at the National Assembly, including as vice speaker. Chung, who stood next to Yoon as his nomination was announced, took the podium afterward and vowed to do whatever he can to help the president communicate better and carry out "politics of unity." "The political landscape where the ruling party is a minority and the opposition is a majority concerns me and I expect difficulties," he said. "I felt that it was my responsibility to help the Yoon Suk Yeol government and help the president at this difficult time." Yoon also took two questions from reporters, the first time he did so since November 2022, when his daily morning Q andA sessions with reporters were suspended following a clash between a presidential official and a reporter. In response to the questions, Yoon said he plans to discuss people's livelihood issues when he holds his first-ever meeting with opposition leader Lee Jae-myung in the near future. According to multiple presidential officials, Yoon has tapped former PPP Rep. Hong Chul-ho to replace Han Oh-seop as senior presidential secretary for political affairs. Hong is a two-term former lawmaker and founder of roasted-chicken franchise Goobne Chicken. Source: Yonhap News Agency