Monday, May 24, 1999 Published at 05:58 GMT 06:58 UK
DJ's reform-boosting reshuffle
South Korean conglomterates are under pressure to reform
The South Korean cabinet has been extensively reshuffled in a move which is being interpreted as a sign that President Kim Dae-jung plans to speed up his economic reform and re-unification programme.
Two of the president's closest advisors have been moved into key roles.
Kang Bong-kyun, an outspoken critic of the power of South Korea's giant industrial conglomerates - known as chaebol - moves from being chief presidential advisor on economic affairs to become the new Economy and Finance Minister.
"The president has been displeased with the slow reform pace of top chaebol," Mr Kim's outgoing spokesman Park Ji-won told reporters on Monday.
Together with Lee Hun-Jai, who retains his position as head of the powerful Financial Supervisory Commission, Mr Kang is seen as a driving force behind President Kim's efforts, in the wake of Asia's economic crisis, to rebuild what was once the world's 11th largest economy.
Mr Lim, known as a firm advocate of the president's "sunshine policy" towards North Korea, was in Tokyo at the weekend for talks with US envoy William Perry ahead of his landmark visit to the North later this week.
Since his appointment, President Kim has spoken widely of beginning a new chapter in relations with Pyongyang based on greater economic and diplomatic engagement.
In all, 11 new appointments were made in the president's 18-strong cabinet.
A presidential spokesman said the intention was to create a cabinet to push the reform programmes more vigorously.