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S Korea’s president-elect nominates conservative lawmaker as finance chief

CNA – South Korea’s incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol yesterday named Choo Kyung-ho to be deputy prime minister and finance minister, as the country seeks to tackle surging inflation, household debt and demand for welfare.

Yoon, who takes office in May 10, announced eight Cabinet minister nominations, including defence, industry, health and land. All are subject to parliamentary confirmation hearings.

As deputy prime minister, Choo, 62, would double as finance minister and oversee economic policy, replacing Hong Nam-ki.

Choo is a second-term lawmaker in Yoon’s conservative People Power Party. He served 33 years in government roles including vice-minister of economy and finance, and vice-chairman of the Financial Services Commission.

His nomination came as Asia’s fourth-largest economy faces challenges of quelling decade-high inflation without destabilising markets as recovery from the pandemic continues.