S. Korean Pres. Park replaces 7 ministers in 1st Cabinet shuffle

South Korean President Park Guen Hye appointed seven new ministers Friday, her first Cabinet shuffle since taking office in February last year.

The presidential office said Choi Kyung Hwan of her Saenuri Party will replace Hyun Oh Seok as deputy prime minister for economic affairs, a move seen by analysts as badly needed to shore up the flagging South Korean economy.

Hyun had been under increasing fire for incompetence from both his own party and the opposition for failing to get the country out of a prolonged slump.

Park also named new ministers for security and public administration, education, labor, culture, gender equality and family, and for science, ICT and future planning, all moves seen as part of her struggle to regain public confidence after the country's botched handling of a ferry sinking in April in which more than 300 people, many of them high school students, died.

Thursday, Park revamped her personnel lineup at the presidential Blue House and on Tuesday had put up former journalist Moon Chang Keuk as her candidate for prime minister.

She also named Ambassador to Japan Lee Byung Ki as head of the state intelligence agency.

Only prime ministerial appointments need approval by the National Assembly, where the Saenuri Party holds a majority.