South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday replaced six ministers in a reshuffle aimed at re-energizing his Cabinet heading into the third year of his five-year term, officials said. \nKey defense, foreign affairs and economic posts were unaffected in the move that brought in new ministers of education, agriculture, home affairs, government legislation, gender equality and maritime affairs. \n"They [the departing ministers] might have exhausted their ideas and passion and become victims of stagnation after two years of service," Roh, who took office in February 2003, told a Cabinet meeting. He said he expected a dynamic response from the new appointees. \n"I want each ministry to present a blueprint to the people for advancing South Korea at the start of my third year in office." \nRoh named former Seoul National University president Lee Ki-jun as education minister to replace Ahn Byung-young who has been under fire over a recent cheating scandal involving a state-run college admission test. \nSouth Korean police last month rounded up some 300 people, mostly high school pupils, for cheating on the Nov. 17 test by using mobile phones to exchange text-written answers or fielding substitutes. The cheating scam rocked South Korean society in which a good college education holds the key to wealth and status. \nIn the reshuffle, Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency president Oh Young-kyo was appointed home affairs minister. \nJang Ha-jin, former head of the state-run Korea Women's Development Institute, was named gender equality minister and former Busan City Mayor Oh Geo-don as minister of maritime affairs. \nPark Hong-soo, a ruling Uri Party lawmaker, became agriculture minister while Kim Sun-wook, an Ewha Woman's University professor, took over the ministry of government legislation.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘FIGHT FOR FREEDOM’: Hong Kongers will never bow to Beijing, the advocate said, while the US’ envoy to the territory called China’s new security law a ‘tragedy’ The world must stand in solidarity with Hong Kongers after Beijing imposed sweeping national security legislation on the semi-autonomous territory, advocate Joshua Wong (黃之鋒) said yesterday, vowing to continue campaigning for democracy. Wong, one of the territory’s most prominent young advocates and a figure loathed by Beijing, was speaking outside a court where he and fellow advocates are being prosecuted for involvement in last year’s pro-democracy protests. China last week enacted sweeping security legislation for the restless territory, banning acts of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces. The legislation has sent a wave of fear through the territory, and criminalized dissenting
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread