Park calls for efforts to revive economy

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye on Friday called for efforts to revive the economy and create jobs as she launched her new Cabinet.

Park conducted a major Cabinet shake-up and nominated a new spy chief last month to try to regain public confidence in her administration rocked by April's deadly ferry disaster.

"Park asked officials to keep alive the embers of the economy and make it a steppingstone for a new economic takeoff," presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook said.

She made the comments in a ceremony with Choi Kyoung-hwan, the new deputy prime minister for economic affairs, four other new ministers and the spy chief.

Her comments came more than a week after South Korea's central bank lowered its economic growth outlook for the year to 3.8 percent from 4 percent, while trimming its growth outlook for next year to 4 percent from 4.2 percent.

The downward revision reflected the negative consumer and business sentiment following the ferry disaster that left more than 300 people dead or missing, the Bank of Korea said on July 10.

Park's new Cabinet has yet to be filled by two ministers.

Hwang Woo-yea, Park's choice to be the education minister, needs to go through a parliamentary confirmation hearing.

Park also needs to tap a new culture minister as her nominee for the job withdrew his name earlier this week amid mounting criticism from the main opposition party that he is unfit for the job, citing alleged perjury during his parliamentary confirmation hearing.

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