S Korea’s new cabinet meets as tensions rise
SEOUL (AFP) – South Korea’s new president, Park Geun-Hye, finally held her first cabinet meeting Monday, with her new – and still only partially-formed – administration facing a growing crisis with North Korea.
Since she was sworn in two weeks ago as the country’s first woman president, Park has struggled to form a cabinet, with a parliamentary row delaying confirmation of key ministerial nominees.
With North Korea threatening “all-out war” and announcing the scrapping of inter-Korean peace agreements, Park is still without a confirmed defence minister, national security adviser and intelligence chief.
“Finally we have managed to hold the first cabinet meeting,” Park told assembled ministers in the presidential Blue House.
“At this time of crisis amid threats from the North… the situation is really regrettable and I feel sorry for our people,” Park said.
The focus of the current parliamentary impasse is a bill to adopt Park’s proposals for a governmental reorganisation that would create new ministries and offices and reallocate responsibilities.