Kim Haeng (64), former emergency response member of the People Power Party, said immediately after being nominated as the second Minister of Gender Equality and Family of the Yoon Seok-yeol government on the 13th, “We will actively communicate with the people while the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family continues to exist.” It is interpreted that he expressed his intention to act as an ‘intermediate bridge’ until the ‘abolition of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family’.
Candidate Kim said at a briefing at the Presidential Office in Yongsan, Seoul, that day, “The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is a department that the President pledged to abolish, but it has its own unique tasks during its existence.” In relation to this, he emphasized, “At the center are the dignity of life and the value of family,” and “(the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family) is the only department that plans and implements sustainability in the Republic of Korea.” Rather than focusing on gender equality policies such as protecting women’s human rights, which was the purpose of the launch of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, he expressed his intention to stick to his role as the Minister of Family Affairs, including low birth rate and youth issues, until the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family is abolished.
Candidate Kim worked as a journalist and public opinion poll expert before entering politics by serving as a spokesperson for Chung Mong-joon’s camp먹튀검증 (National Unity 21) during the 16th presidential election in 2002. Afterwards, he served as a spokesperson for the Blue House during the Park Geun-hye administration and as director of the Korea Gender Equality Education Promotion Agency under the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family. When he took office as the director of the Yangpyeongwon in 2014, controversy arose over his ‘parachute’ due to his low expertise in ‘women’s policy,’ and he resigned from the director position to run for the general election with more than a year left in his term, causing backlash, but he returned again as a candidate for the Minister of Gender Equality and Family.
This replacement of the Minister of Gender Equality and Family was carried out as a reprimand for the failure of the ‘Saemangeum World Scout Jamboree’ competition. If Candidate Kim passes the personnel hearing and is appointed as minister, the top priority will likely be to bring back the morale of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family employees, whose morale has hit rock bottom due to his pledge to abolish the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the collapse of the jamboree, and to smoothly lead the transfer of duties to other ministries. .
There were even rumors of a ‘vacancy in the ministerial position’ in the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family, so an atmosphere of ‘fortunateness’ can be sensed that a new ministerial candidate has been nominated. In particular, since candidate Kim served as the director of Yangpyeongwon, there is an atmosphere of expectation that he will have a basic awareness of gender equality.
Meanwhile, ahead of this cabinet reshuffle, some in the political circles said that candidate Kim was selected as a candidate for Minister of Gender Equality and Family because of his long-standing close relationship with First Lady Kim Kun-hee. However, the relationship between Candidate Kim and Mrs. Kim has not been revealed publicly as there is no overlap in academic ties or regional ties.