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Park-prosecution chief

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, March 15 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye nominated senior prosecutor Chae Dong-wook to be the first prosecutor general of her government on Friday, her spokesman said, as she named other new chiefs of powerful agencies, such as the police and the national tax office.

Chae, 54, now head of the Seoul High Prosecutors' Office, has long been tipped for the top prosecution post as he has extensive experience investigating high-profile corruption and other cases. His appointment is subject to a parliamentary confirmation hearing.

"(I) feel great responsibility to be nominated to head the prosecution when it is faced with a crisis and needs to restore people's trust," nominee Chae said in a statement. "(I) will humbly prepare for the scheduled National Assembly confirmation hearing."

The nomination comes 103 days after former Prosecutor General Han Sang-dae stepped down from his post following a string of disgraceful scandals within the powerful investigative body.

Park also named Kim Duk-joong, chief of the Jungbu Regional Tax Office, to head the National Tax Service, and Lee Sung-han, chief of the Busan Metropolitan Police Agency, to lead the National Police Agency, the spokesman said. Lee's nomination was made public earlier in the day.

The designations of Kim and Lee are also subject to confirmation hearings.

The new chiefs of 15 other agencies were also announced.

Choi Soo-hyun, senior deputy chief of the watchdog Financial Supervisory Service, was promoted to its chief and Vice Defense Minister Lee Yong-geol, a financial technocrat, was named to head the Defense Acquisition Program Administration.

Hwang Chul-joo, a vice chairman of the Korea Venture Business Association, was tapped as chief of the Small and Medium Business Administration, and Baek Un-chan, a senior finance ministry official, was named as head of the Korea Customs Service, the spokesman said.

"A key feature of these selections is that we placed importance on expertise," spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said. "We tried to actively promote people from inside ... and brought in outside experts as well."

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