SEOUL, JULY 14 -- Acknowledging that it needs a "new image," the ruling Democratic Justice Party today ousted five former generals from key positions in its first realignment under Chairman Roh Tae Woo.
More changes were promised later to "civilianize" the party that President Chun Doo Hwan set up when he took power in 1980.
The major change involved the appointment of Rep. Chung Suk Mo as secretary general, the party's third-ranking post. Chung, a Home Affairs Ministry bureaucrat and one-time national police chief, replaced Lee Choon Koo, a former Army brigadier general.
Four other former generals whom Chun brought into the government also were fired as members of the party's 27-man Executive Council, theoretically its top decision-making body. Two other council members also were replaced.
Lee Dai Soon, who was replaced yesterday as communications minister, was named new floor leader of the party in the National Assembly, while Lee Min Sup, a former journalist, was appointed party spokesman.
"We think it is necessary to change the faces of our leadership to enforce . . . democratic reforms and refresh our image," said Choi San Jin, deputy party spokesman, who announced the changes.
Last month, Roh, the party's nominee for president, was entrusted with full leadership of the party by Chun, who resigned Friday as president of the ruling body. Roh, currently the No. 2 man in the party, is expected to be elected to the top position later this month.
Roh is expected to carry out both organizational and more personnel changes to strengthen the party for the nation's first direct presidential election in 16 years. The vote is scheduled to be held later this year after constitutional and legal reforms are implemented.