ROK's president retains Kim Kwan-jin as DM

Updated: 2013-03-22 15:24


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ROK's president retains Kim Kwan-jin as DM

ROK's defence minister nominee Kim Byung-kwan speaks at a parliament hearing held to confirm his appointment in Seoul in this March 8, 2013 file photograph. ROK's President Park Geun-hye's nominee for defence chief stepped down on Friday in the latest embarassing blow to her push to establish a new government one month into her term and under a daily threat of attack from the DPRK. The resignation by the retired general came over his failure to disclose his past in lobbying for a defence contractor and follows the resignation of the vice-justice minister on Thursday mired in a sex-for-influence scandal. Picture taken March 8, 2013.[Photo/Agencies]

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea's President Park Geun-hye decided on Friday to retain incumbent Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin amid mounting tension on the Korean Peninsula.

"President Park made the decision as (the defense minister nomination) can no longer be delayed by political disputes and parliamentary hearing given the urgent national security situation, " presidential spokeswoman Kim Haing told a press briefing.

The spokeswoman mentioned the cyber attack on computer networks of local broadcasters and banks, saying that the national security was in danger amid the repeated war threats by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

Park's decision came after her nominee for defense minister offered to resign following a series of ethical lapses.

Kim Kwan-jin is the first defense minister to remain in office in the country's history. He will not be subject to the parliamentary confirmation hearing.