The South Korean president Lee Myung-bak has named a young reformist as prime minister to push through his reform agenda, and made several other cabinet changes. Mr Lee, whose political momentum was recently revitalised when his ruling Grand National Party (GNP) won a surprising victory in parliamentary by-elections, named a former governor of a rural province, Kim Tae-ho, 47, as prime minister. Mr Lee promoted a senior commerce ministry technocrat to become the new minister to handle the country's industrial and energy policies.
He also named a close ally of a political rival as agriculture minister in a move to reach out to opponents in his own party who had objected to his policy initiatives and slowed legislative agenda. The new ministers are: education (Lee Joo-Ho); culture (Shin Jae-Min); agriculture (Yoo Jeong-Bok); the knowledge economy ministry (Lee Jae-Hoon); health (Jin Soo-Hee); labour (Park Jae-Wan) and special affairs (Lee Jae-Oh). *Agencies