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Park-vice ministers

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SEOUL, March 13 (Yonhap) -- President Park Geun-hye promoted Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Kyou-hyun to first vice foreign minister and another career diplomat Cho Tae-yul to second vice foreign minister Wednesday as she selected 20 new vice ministerial officials, her spokeswoman said.

Seoul National University professor Na Seung-il was named vice education minister, senior unification ministry official Kim Nam-sik was promoted to vice minister and a regional prosecutor's office chief, Kim Hak-ui, was named vice justice minister, presidential spokeswoman Kim Haing announced.

Senior industry ministry officials Kim Jae-hong and Han Jin-hyun were named first and second vice ministers, respectively, she said. The 20 new vice ministers are for 13 ministries and the Office of Government Policy Coordination.

Park made the selections based on whether candidates have expertise in their respective areas and if they are appropriate for realizing her philosophy in state affairs, the spokeswoman said.

Park plans to name the vice defense minister after minister nominee Kim Byung-kwan takes office, Kim said.

First Vice Foreign Minister Kim, 60, graduated from the dental college of Seoul National University and entered the foreign ministry in 1980 after passing the state foreign service exam. He has since served in many posts handling relations with the United States, including three stints at the country's embassy in Washington.

Kim has been deputy foreign minister since last year.

Second Vice Foreign Minister Cho, 58, entered the foreign service in 1979 and many of his posts were to handle trade issues, including chairman at a World Trade Organization panel. He was also deputy ambassador at South Korea's mission in Geneva and also served as ambassador to Spain in 2008-2011.

Cho has been an international relations ambassador for the Gyeonggi provincial government since last year.

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