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(profile) Gender minister nominee vows to collect people's opinions on ministry's future

16:29 April 10, 2022

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- Gender Minister nominee Kim Hyun-sook is a tax and pension expert who was deeply involved in reforming pension policy during the previous conservative administration of President Park Geun-hye.

If confirmed, Kim, 55, will be tasked with leading a ministry that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol pledged to abolish during his campaign. The ministry has been the subject of a heated debate about whether it has served its proper function.

But the ministry will be kept for now, along with the rest of the current government layout, as the Yoon administration seeks to avoid clashing with the National Assembly, where the outgoing administration's party holds a whopping majority.

Kim Hyun-sook, the nominee for gender equality minister, speaks during a press conference at the transition team's headquarters in Seoul on April 10, 2022. (Pool photo) (Yonhap)

Government reorganization can only take place through the passage of relevant legislation.

When asked about the ministry's abolition, Kim said Sunday it is still too early to say when the ministry will be "reorganized."

The former lawmaker said she dealt with the ministry when she served on the parliamentary gender equality and family committee but that a new era calls for new solutions to gender and generational conflicts, and family diversity issues.

"I will sufficiently collect people's opinions so as to ensure the ministry is transformed into a new ministry that humbly communicates with the people, harmonizes with the opposition party and opens up a future," she said during a press conference at the transition team's headquarters.

A graduate of Seoul National University and the University of Illinois, Kim served as the senior presidential secretary for employment and welfare under Park. In that capacity, she pushed legislation on labor reform.

She also served on Park's transition team and crafted policy for women.

In 2017, Kim returned to teach economics at Soongsil University before joining Yoon's primary campaign to provide policy assistance on economic, social and welfare issues.

Following Yoon's election, she was named as a special adviser for policy.



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