South Korea's Yoon set to announce cabinet reshuffle -media

  • World
  • Monday, 04 Dec 2023

FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol gives a speech on the government budget at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, 31 October 2023. JEON HEON-KYUN/Pool via REUTERS/File photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol is likely to announce a major cabinet reshuffle as early as Monday, with as many as 10 ministers including the finance minister set to be replaced, Yonhap news agency reported.

The transport and labour ministers may also be changed, Yonhap said, citing unidentified sources.

The financial regulator head could also be replaced, the Korea Economic Daily reported on Monday, also citing unidentified sources.

Some media outlets also reported that Foreign Minister Park Jin's future will be in the spotlight if he takes the blame for the failure to host the World Expo 2030 in the southern city of Busan.

The presidential office told Reuters it could not confirm the reports.

Yoon's approval rating has dropped for three consecutive weeks to 32% in the most recent Gallup opinion poll on Friday. Many respondents in the poll cited concern over the cost of living and Yoon's performance handling the economy.

A reshuffle would come just months before legislative elections in April. Some cabinet members are widely expected to stand down to capitalise on their increased profile to run as political candidates.

Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho is widely expected to step down to run in the election, with local media touting Yoon's former economic advisor Choi Sang-mok as Choo's successor.

Yoon does not require parliamentary approval to appoint a finance minister, who also serves as deputy prime minister.

The main opposition Democratic Party of Korea currently holds a majority in parliament, with more than half of the 298 seats.

(Reporting by Hyunsu Yim, Cynthia Kim; Editing by Ed Davies and Christopher Cushing)

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