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Lee Dong-kwan the 16th chief to be appointed by Yoon without parliamentary consentBy Jie Ye-eun
Published : Aug. 25, 2023 - 17:05
President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday approved the appointment of Lee Dong-kwan as the new head of the state broadcasting watchdog, the Korea Communications Commission, despite controversy surrounding Lee and his son.
Yoon conferred a letter of appointment to Lee, a former journalist who served as a senior secretary for press affairs during the Lee Myung-bak administration, at the presidential office in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, on Friday in the late afternoon.
The appointment decision came even after the National Assembly failed to adopt a parliamentary confirmation hearing report by Thursday’s deadline due to the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea’s objections. Lee underwent a confirmation hearing last week.
Under the law, the president can approve an appointment if the Assembly fails to adopt a hearing report even after requesting it by a given deadline. As a result, Lee became the 16th chief to be appointed by Yoon without parliamentary consent.
The new broadcasting regulator head has been embroiled in controversy over allegations that his son had bullied a classmate in high school in 2011. Lee refuted the allegations, stating that his son and the classmate have since reconciled and are friends.
He also came under criticism for exercising undue influence in personnel affairs at state broadcaster KBS during his tenure as a senior presidential secretary from 2008 to 2011.
Lee served as a Blue House spokesperson and senior presidential secretary for press affairs from 2008-2013 under President Lee Myung-bak. In 2021, he joined Yoon's presidential election campaign team as chief of the special media communications committee.
He was nominated as the KCC chief late last month after Yoon dismissed the former chief, Han Sang-hyuk, who was appointed during the previous Moon Jae-in administration. Han was indicted for his involvement in score rigging for a conservative cable channel's broadcasting license renewal in 2020.
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