South Korea's Yoon names conservative scholar as unification minister

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday picked a conservative scholar and an outspoken critic of North Korea’s human rights record as the country’s new unification minister handling relations with Pyongyang in a cabinet reshuffle.

The nomination of Kim Yung-ho, a political science professor at Sungshin Women’s University, comes as Yoon has been seeking to turn the spotlight on human rights abuses in North Korea.

Yoon said in March the international community should have better knowledge about the situation in the North.

Kim, 63, served as a presidential secretary for unification and a human rights envoy under the conservative Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye administrations.

Ministerial appointees are subject to parliamentary hearings but a formal approval is not required.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi and Hyunsu Yim; Editing by Ed Davies)