national security office-launch

SEOUL, March 20 (Yonhap) -- A new presidential office for national security is expected to launch Friday once President Park Geun-hye's government restructuring plans win parliamentary approval, the presidential spokesman said.

The new office, which Park designed to act as a "control tower" for national security issues in the face of growing threats from North Korea, has been unable to get off the ground due to a long, drawn-out parliamentary deadlock over the president's government reorganization bill.

Following Sunday's agreement between rival political parties, the National Assembly is expected to approve the bill during a plenary session later Wednesday.

"In the event that the government reorganization bill is passed through parliament, Cheong Wa Dae's national security office is expected to formally launch around (Friday)," presidential spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said in a press briefing.

Park has named former defense minister Kim Jang-soo to head the new office.

Meanwhile, the health ministry and the food and drug administration will be the first government offices to give policy reports to the president on Thursday morning, Yoon said. The policy briefings are expected to continue through early next month.

The decision came at a meeting of senior presidential secretaries and presided over by presidential chief of staff Huh Tae-yeol earlier in the day.

The policy briefings will mostly be carried out by two government offices with overlapping responsibilities so as to ensure they cooperate over shared issues, Yoon said.

In their reports, each office plans to focus on specific ways to realize the new administration's four key principles of economic revival, the people's happiness, a flourishing culture, and a foundation for the reunification of the Korean Peninsula, he added.

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