Yoon picks former policy chief as finance minister



President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol on Sunday named a former policy chief as his fiscal chief who will double as the first deputy prime minister under his government in a widely anticipated announcement on Sunday.

Choo Kyung-ho -– a second-term lawmaker of Yoon’s People Power Party who entered politics after his last post as minister for government policy coordination in 2016 –- has exceptional expertise in setting the government agenda, Yoon said.

“I expect to see our economy make another leap forward and have a better communication with the National Assembly, with help from Choo’s agenda-setting expertise and his work as a legislator,” Yoon said.

Choo, who began his career as a mid-level official in 1983 after passing the national civil service exam, spend most of his time dealing with fiscal and financial policies.

From 1983 to 2009, Choo worked mostly at the finance ministry and also at the presidential office in 1998 as mid-level secretary. He later was deployed to the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development as Korea’s senior economist and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as Korea’s minister counselor.

After returning to Seoul, he moved to the Financial Services Commission, and four years later, he was named vice chairman of the financial regulator.

In 2013, Choo was named to be first vice minister of the Finance Ministry, where he helped the fiscal chief to craft policy under former President Park Geun-hye for two straight years.

His work there led to another promotion in 2014, when he was picked by Park to be policy chief under the supervision of the prime minister.

Then he pursued a political career, and has won a parliamentary seat twice since 2016. Before becoming senior deputy floor leader of the People Power Party, he headed the Yeouido Institute, the party’ think tank.

As a lawmaker, he sat on the strategy and finance committee, having chaired the budget and accounts committee a year ago. Choo has many times criticized President’s Moon’s expansionary fiscal policy as “irresponsible.”

“The national debt is running high, and inflationary pressures are still there and economic conditions – on the inside and outside – are really challenging. The thing is our government will fight inflation, and that will be our first priority,” Choo said.

By Choi Si-young (

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