South Korea nominates new prime minister in shake-up over ferry tragedy

Former supreme court justice Ahn Dai-hee picked as the new PM

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 22 May, 2014, 2:52pm
UPDATED : Friday, 23 May, 2014, 6:47pm

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has named a former supreme court justice as prime minister to replace an incumbent who resigned over the recent ferry tragedy.

The nominee, Ahn Dai-hee, will be mandated to oversee the reform of government bureaucracy, Park’s spokesman Min Kyung-wook said.

Park’s nomination requires parliamentary approval.

Ahn wil replace the current prime minister, Chung Hong-won, who has offered to quit over the ferry sinking, Min said.

Park also accepted the resignation of the director of the National Intelligence Service and the presidential Blue House chief secretary for national security, Min said.

The government had come under fire for its inadequate response to the April 16 ferry disaster that killed more than 300 passengers, many of them schoolchildren. 

Park has said she will disband the coast guard, downsize two government ministries and establish two new state agencies in efforts to better cope with future disasters.