Wed, May 15, 2002 - Page 4 News List

Kang Ning-hsiang suggests he'll fill defense vacancy

By Lin Miao-jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Control Yuan member Kang Ning-hsiang (康寧祥) yesterday gave his strongest hint yet that he intends to take the vacant post of vice minister of national defense.

Asked at a routine monthly Control Yuan press conference whether he intended to take the post, Kang said, "[I have] plans to move in that direction," adding, "I am nervous [about taking the post]," and "I think it will be challenging."

But he also added, "The president is still awaiting my response."

Chinese-language media have reported in recent days that Kang is to assume the post on June 1.

One of the two posts of vice minister of defense has remained unfilled since the Cabinet reshuffle in February. At the time, Kang told reporters that President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) favored him for the job but had agreed that he should complete his existing caseload at the Control Yuan before assuming the post.

Former air force chief Chen Chao-ming (陳肇敏), became the other vice minister on Feb. 1.

Although Kang told the press in February, "I am going to take the post," he later demurred, saying that he had not decided whether to join the ministry.

Throughout his tenure in the Control Yuan over the past nine years, Kang has focused on investigations of military cases, including the Lafayette frigate scandal.

Asked whether he thought his "future job" in the ministry might be made difficult by hostility caused by his investigations into military scandals, he responded, "Those probes helped me to understand the ministry better. If I join the ministry, I certainly will modify my approach to fit in with it [the ministry]."

Kang has been a Taipei City Council member for three years, a lawmaker for 19 years, a National Assembly member for three years and a Control Yuan member for nine years.

He has no formal military background other than compulsory military service.

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