President Moon Jae-in on Friday asked the incumbent Cabinet members to help him run his new administration at least until he finds their replacements.
The president's request to the ministers appointed by his ousted predecessor Park Geun-hye came at a lunch at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.
"The president wished to cheer the ministers and also listen to any advice they had to offer," a Cheong Wa Dae official said, while speaking on condition of anonymity.
Friday's lunch involved all 16 government ministers.
However, it did not and should not suggest the president planned to keep the ministers for good, the official noted.
"We are working to find new ministers, but frankly, it may take a month or even two," he said.
Also present at the lunch were Finance Minister Yoo Il-ho and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, both of whom have already been asked to step down after the president named his nominees to replace them.
New Cabinet members are required to undergo a confirmation hearing by a National Assembly committee, though their appointment does not require the parliament's approval.
President Moon was inaugurated on May 10, one day after the country held a rare presidential by-election to fill the vacancy in its top elected office caused by the ouster of Park.
The former conservative president was removed from office on March 10 by a Constitutional Court ruling that upheld the parliamentary impeachment of her in late 2016 over a series of corruption allegations. Park is currently facing a criminal trial over corruption charges. (Yonhap)
Lee Sung-won firstname.lastname@example.org
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