South Korea President Moon Jae-in fires economic policy chiefs

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has fired both his top economic policymakers in addition to also replaced them with people already inside the government, his office said on Friday, a move widely seen as intended to reinforce his controversial policies.

Moon has replaced chief presidential policy aide Jang Ha-sung in addition to also finance minister Kim Dong-yeon, the two most senior policymakers in charge of running Asia’s fourth-largest economy, the presidential office announced.

the idea was a bigger reshuffle than expected, yet the appointment of their successors via within the government indicated President Moon could reinforce his economic policies, which economists have said were hurting growth.

Presidential social policy aide Kim Soo-hyun will succeed Jang in addition to also veteran bureaucrat Hong Nam-ki, currently head of the government policy co-ordination office, will be the brand new finance minister, the presidential office said.

The incoming chief presidential policy aide has been behind harsh regulatory measures aimed at curbing housing prices, which many analysts have said were against market principles.

The incoming finance minister has served at various government departments such as the finance ministry in addition to also the presidential office. He is usually still required to appear at a parliamentary verification hearing although approval there is usually not mandatory.

The high-profile appointments came amid criticism which Moon’s signature policies such as big minimum wage increases in addition to also a shorter work week had backfired, with lower income earners — the intended beneficiaries – feeling the most pain as employers cut back hiring.

South Korea’s minimum wages are set to be raised by nearly 30 percent over two years in addition to also the work week has been cut by almost a quarter for big companies, yet initial outcomes have been a plunge in employment rates in addition to also lower incomes.

The outgoing finance minister, who has served since June last year as Moon’s first top economic policy planner, has repeatedly clashed with Jang by calling for some adjustment of the president’s ‘income-led growth’ strategy.

The economy saw growth inside the July-September quarter holding steady via the previous quarter at 0.6 percent, yet missing the market expectations as construction spending plunged by the most in two decades.

Private consumption held up on increased welfare support yet a sharp cut in infrastructure spending in addition to also strong controls on property transactions clouded the outlook at a time when the global demand for South Korea’s exports is usually cooling.

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