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(LEAD) Yoon taps ex-deputy NSA for spy chief

16:20 May 11, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with details from 2nd para; CORRECTS spelling of deputy director's name; REPLACES photo)
By Lee Haye-ah

SEOUL, May 11 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Wednesday tapped Kim Kyou-hyun, a former deputy national security adviser and career diplomat, for his first spy chief, his office said.

Kim was named director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), while Kwon Chun-taek, a former NIS official and diplomat, was chosen for first deputy director.

Kim entered the foreign service in 1980 and worked in various posts dealing with the United States before being appointed first vice foreign minister under then-President Park Geun-hye.

This photo provided by the presidential office shows Kim Kyou-hyun (L) and Kwon Chun-taek. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

He later served as first deputy national security adviser and then doubled as senior presidential secretary for foreign affairs and second deputy national security adviser during the same administration.

Kim is one of only two career diplomats to have been chosen for NIS director, with past spy chiefs having come from a military or legal background or from within the intelligence agency.

Kim's appointment is subject to a parliamentary confirmation process but does not require parliamentary approval.

He was previously investigated by prosecutors for allegedly doctoring documents on Cheong Wa Dae's response to a deadly ferry sinking in 2014 but was not punished.

Kwon, meanwhile, currently works as secretary-general of U.N. Global Compact Network Korea.

The position of first deputy director is responsible for collecting intelligence from overseas and North Korea.

Yoon is expected to designate the second and third deputy directors soon.



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