Potential security threats from North Korea

A new presidential office to be created to handle national security will be overseen by a minister-level official, the transition team said Friday, in what appears to be a move to better cope with potential security threats from North Korea.

The “office of national security” is part of a series of organizational changes President-elect Park Geun-hye plans to make to the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae.

“The national security office will directly assist the president and its chief will be appointed as a minister-level official,” transition team spokesman Yoon Chang-jung said at a news briefing.

The office will also be responsible for developing mid- to long-term strategies on national security as well as quickly responding to a national crisis, he said.

In contrast, the office of the senior secretary for foreign affairs and national security, which ranks below the national security office, will handle the day-to-day issues on national security, foreign affairs and inter-Korean relations, he said.

It will also assist the president on matters of national security and coordinate its work with the other eight senior secretaries in the presidential office.

The Presidential Security Service will be separated from the office of presidential secretaries and acquire the same status as the secretaries’ office and the national security office, with a minister-level official as its chief, Yoon said.

The change increases the number of minister-level posts within the presidential office from two to three.

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