SEOUL — PRESIDENT Kim Young Sam, seeking to eliminate obstacles to reform, moved yesterday to cleanse his new Cabinet of any hint of ethical problems and to strengthen his control over the military.
Mr. Kim replaced three ministers he had appointed less than two weeks ago, due to the appearance of unethical practices, and dismissed two military officers appointed by his predecessor.
Yesterday, Kim named Prosecutor-General Kim Doo Hee as the justice minister, Mrs. Song Jung Suk as the health-social affairs minister, and Huh Jai Hyung as the new construction minister.
The two dismissed generals, Gen. Kim Jin Young and Suh Wan Soo, had led a faction of elite Army officers who were patrons of Kim's predecessors. The sudden dismissal reflected Kim's determination to strengthen control of the military, aides said.
Public expectations run high for Kim, who has vowed to wipe out corruption and bureaucracy that grew under military-dominated governments over the last three decades.
Kim's aides said they suspected supporters of past governments were raising ethics questions about his appointees to embarrass Kim, who took office Feb. 25 as South Korea's first civilian president since 1960.
A spokesman said no further changes were expected, although investigation into the financial dealings and backgrounds of senior officials would continue.