In the above photo, The Honorable Chung is the first from the right.
Who Is he?

Chung Eui-yong is the director of the Blue House (Cheongwadae) National Security Office for President Moon Jae-in. Chung served as a top foreign policy adviser on President Moon’s campaign team and was the Secretary General for the International Conference on Asian Political Parties (ICAPP).

Chung has been considered an expert in multilateral diplomacy. He has extensive experience as a career diplomat for South Korea’s foreign affairs ministry. Since 2007, Chung has served as the Secretary General and standing committee co-chairman of ICAPP, a multinational organization promoting exchange and dialogue between various Asian political parties. Beyond diplomacy, Chung also has legislative experience. In 2004, Chung was elected as the proportional representative of the Uri Party, the predecessor of the current ruling Democratic Party of Korea, for South Korea’s 17th National Assembly. As a legislator, Chung served as chairman of the National Assembly’s foreign relations committee as well as a parliamentary committee member dealing with the KORUS free trade agreement. He was recognized for marshalling foreign policy consensus within his Uri Party and throughout the entire legislative body.

Prior to his legislative career, Chung served as South Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations and other international organizations, such as the International Labor Organization, in Geneva between 2001 and 2004. In Geneva, Chung oversaw and directed over 30 career diplomats in various multilateral negotiations. Before serving in Geneva, Chung was also South Korea’s Deputy Minister for Trade from 1998 to 2001, Ambassador to Israel from 1997 to 1998. and Minister for Economic Affairs in Washington, D.C. and Brussels.

Chung graduated with a B.A in diplomacy at Seoul National University in 1968 before joining the foreign service in 1971.

Why has he been in the news?

Chung’s appointment to the national security adviser position on May 20, 2017 was one of several other key presidential appointments for ministerial and Blue House director level leadership positions. Media reports are pointing to the recent appointments of Chung and other relevant leaders such as Kang Kyung-hwa as potential Minister of Foreign Affairs, as President Moon’s strategic shift on South Korean diplomacy from moving past cooperation solely with major powers to increase diplomatic outreach to more diverse global partners.

According to Moon, national security and diplomacy are “two sides of the same coin” to emphasize the importance of bringing in experts such as Chung to cement diplomacy as the guiding force in South Korea’s new North Korea strategy.

What can we expect from him?

The media assessed that President Moon’s appointments of Chung and the several other key ministerial level positions marked a significant departure from President Park’s foreign affairs and security cabinet. Unlike his predecessors, Moon has notably brought in experts with diplomatic experience over military backgrounds.

Mathew Ha