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Moon replaces top aides amid surveillance controversy

IANS  |  Seoul 

South Korean on Tuesday replaced his and two other senior secretaries in what was widely seen as a move to put behind a surveillance scandal that is apparently hurting his approval rating.

The named Noh Young-min, currently the to China, as his new

Noh is a three-term lawmaker from the ruling who also served as a of Moon's election camp in the 2017 presidential race, news agency reported.

The new said he will work to make up for his shortcomings by listening to what others have to say.

"The fact is I am a person who falls short in many ways. That is why I am also afraid (of taking the job). I plan to make up for my shortcomings by listening. I promise to listen to anyone, about any subject and any policy," he told reporters.

The 61-year-old will replace Im Jong-seok, also a former lawmaker of the ruling party. Im said the reshuffle will be effective as of Wednesday.

The high-profile reshuffle came as the will soon begin his third year of his single five-year term. Moon took office in May 2017.

It also followed a claimed confession from former that the presidential office illegally spied on civilians, politicians and former officials.

Kim had also claimed that such illegal information he had obtained at the order of his former superiors may have reached as high as Im.

The presidential office denies the accusation, saying Kim had rather been warned against spying on civilians and that any such information he obtained had been discarded right away.

Still, Moon's approval rating began to plummet almost instantly, falling for four consecutive weeks to a record low of 45.9 per cent in a weekly survey conducted by Realmeter. It rebounded slightly to 46.4 per cent last week.

The President also replaced his top secretaries for political affairs and

Kang Gi-jung, a three-term lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, will replace Han Byung-do as the top presidential secretary for political affairs, while Yoon Do-han, a from local broadcaster MBC, was named the new senior secretary for public relations, Im told a press conference.

Yoon will replace

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 16:42 IST
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