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S. Korea replaces defense, several other ministers

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (AP)

SEOUL (Kyodo) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in named a new defense minister and four other new ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle on Thursday, tapping the current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the top defense post.

Gen. Jeong Kyeong-doo, who previously served as the Air Force chief of staff, replaces Song Young-moo, who has come under criticism for his handling of a controversy over plans under the previous administration to impose martial law.

Jeong will formally assume the post after a parliamentary hearing.

The presidential office describes Jeong, who once attended the Air Staff College of the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, as "an expert in defense capacity improvement."

Among the changes in the Cabinet lineup, Jin Sun-mee, a lawmaker in the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, replaces Chung Hyun-back as gender equality and family minister.

The post handles the issue of Korean women who were forced to work in Japanese wartime military brothels, known as "comfort women."

The remaining Cabinet posts reshuffled Thursday were those of education, industry and labor.

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