President Moon Jae-in named two outspoken professors as his top secretaries for civil and personnel affairs Thursday.
Cho Kuk, a 52-year-old law professor from Seoul National University, has been appointed the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, a position often held by senior prosecution officials.
The appointment of a civilian to the post comes as the former secretaries under the previous governments have been accused of abusing their power by illegally interfering with, if not preventing, certain investigations by the prosecution.
Woo Byung-woo, the civil affairs secretary under the former Park Geun-hye administration, for instance, is currently facing a trial on several charges that include abuse of power to obstruct the prosecution's investigation into the tragic sinking of the Sewol passenger ferry in 2014.
Cho, a professor, is rather considered an activist. He is also a member of the Supreme Court's Sentencing Commission, which is designed to help the highest court maintain balance and objectivity in its sentences.
The appointment, effective immediately, was announced by Moon's chief of staff Im Jong-seok.
The president also named Cho Hyun-ock, a visiting professor at Seoul's Ehwa Womans University, as his top secretary for personnel affairs, who is largely tasked with managing human resources at the presidential office.
Lee Joung-do, a former official from the finance ministry, was named the senior secretary for general affairs, Im told a press briefing.
The president also named Yoon Young-chan as his chief press secretary.
Holding his first press briefing immediately following the announcement of his appointment, the new press secretary said Hong Nam-ki, the incumbent vice minister of science, ICT and future planning, has been named the chief of the Office of Government Policy Coordination. (Yonhap)