South Korean President Moon Jae-in plans to replace his finance minister with another veteran bureaucrat as early as Friday, local media reported citing unnamed sources within the ruling party and the presidential office.
“As far as I am aware, the announcement (of the replacement of the finance minister) is due for this afternoon,” domestic Yonhap news agency reported, citing an unnamed source at the ruling party.
Another unnamed senior official at the presidential office was quoted as confirming that an announcement on replacing the finance minister is due soon.
Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon has served since June last year as Moon’s first top economic policy planner. President Moon’s approval rating has been falling in recent weeks as Asia’s fourth-largest economy has been hobbled by worsening employment and a plunge in domestic investment.
Government plans to regulate the housing market and sharply increase minimum wages have also darkened the growth prospects.
Yonhap and other media reported Hong Nam-ki, veteran bureaucrat and currently head of the government policy coordination office, was the most likely to be tapped to replace Kim.
The presidential office declined to comment on these reports.
If named, Hong would still have to testify before a parliamentary verification hearing but parliamentary approval is not mandatory.