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Park-secretaries

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye finalized the selection of all 40 presidential secretaries after placing the highest importance on the expertise of the candidates, her spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said Tuesday.

Many of them have already been working since Park took office on Feb. 25.

In the foreign policy and security sectors, career diplomat Kim Hyoung-zhin was chosen as secretary for foreign affairs, senior defense ministry official Youn Je-uk as defense secretary and university professor Hong Yong-pyo as secretary for unification affairs, the office said.

Foreign affairs secretary Kim, 52, is known as an expert on U.S. affairs, spending most of his nearly 30 years as a diplomat in positions dealing with Washington, including a stint as director general at the foreign ministry's North American affairs bureau in 2010.

"The No. 1 criterion (in selecting secretaries) was put on expertise," the spokesman said. "In the spirit of unity and diversity, we have also discovered talents from the government, universities and research institutes."

The list, however, did not officially include three people chosen as secretaries at the office of national security, which Park plans to create under her government reorganization plans, because the proposal remains stuck in parliament due to the opposition's objections.

Career diplomat Kim Hong-kyun was chosen to be secretary for international cooperation under the national security office, officials said. Kim, also 52, has much experience in dealing with North Korea and other security issues at the foreign ministry.

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