Moon, Yoon clash on DSME CEO appointment

Apr 01, 2022, 09:05 am

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President Moon Jae-in (right) and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (left) head to presidential office’s Sangchunjae for a meeting on March 28, 2022./ Source: Yonhap

AsiaToday reporter Lee Wook-jae 

The new and old powers, which had been at odds over personnel appointments, clashed again on the recent appointment of a friend of President Moon Jae-in’s brother as head of a local shipbuilder under government control.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s transition team criticized Thursday President Moon Jae-in’s appointment of Park Doo-sun as CEO of Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), saying it is a case of “abusing power.” In response, Cheong Wa Dae denied the claim, saying, “We are surprised by the fact that the transition team has been interested in the DSME CEO position.” The relations between the two sides, which was expected to improve with the recent Cheong Wa Dae meeting, is likely to worsen.

“DSME pushed ahead with the unreasonable measure of electing new CEO Park who is known as a college alumnus of the younger brother of President Moon,” said transition committee deputy spokesperson Won Il-hee at a press conference held at the committee’s office in Tongeui-dong, Seoul. 

“The Financial Services Commission (FSC) ordered Korea Development Bank (KDB) twice to suspend personnel appointments of related institutions under the state-run bank’s supervision,” Won said. According to the transition committee, the FSC issued a guideline to KDB to suspend the appointment of DSME CEO in February, however the bank pushed ahead with it and elected the CEO.

“Even though it superficially went through the procedure of board approval of a private firm, it is an irrational and shameless move that raises reasonable suspicion that there is actually a separate person who made the appointment,” the spokesperson said. 

“It will be difficult to avoid suspicion of pursuing private interests since an extraordinary appointment was enforced in a poorly-run public company in which a lot of people’s tax was put during the transition of power,” he said.

The committee also said it will make Cheong Wa Dae take legal responsibility for the case. Won said the appointment “goes beyond common sense and custom,” and is likely to be “an abuse of power that ignores the guidelines of the Financial Services Commission.” 

“The transition team will request the Board of Audit and Inspection to review the case and find out whether it is a subject for investigation,” Won said. 

The reason behind the transition team’s strong criticism over the appointment of DSME CEO, the team said the appointment is “irrational” and stressed that taxpayers’ money worth over 4 trillion won ($3.4 billion) was injected into the company. “The company needs to go through painful normalization. Obviously, it is common sense that the new government and the new management should coordinate,” Won said. 

In response, Cheong Wa Dae immediately denied the claim. “We are surprised by the fact that the transition committee has been interested in the DSME CEO position,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Shin Hyun-hye. “Amid the shipbuilding industry’s recovery, the position should go to a management expert inside the company who can restore its operation as soon as possible. Both the incumbent and the next governments should not be interested in the position.”

On March 28, DSME appointed Park Doo-sun as its CEO through a regular general meeting of shareholders. Both Park and the president’s brother, Moon Jae-ik, entered Korea Maritime & Ocean University in 1978.

#Moon Jae-in #Yoon Suk-yeol #DSME #appointment 
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