The logo of the Ministry of Economy and Finance is seen on the gate of Goverement Complex Sejong in this undated file photo. Yonhap

The nominations of two incumbent and retired vice finance ministers to lead the Financial Services Commission (FSC) and the Ministry of Environment is prompting speculation that the so-called “MOFIA” is increasingly dominating top posts of the government as in the past.

On Thursday, First Vice Finance Minister Kim Byoung-hwan was tapped as the next FSC chairman and ex-Second Vice Finance Minister Kim Wan-sup was nominated for environment minister.

If successfully appointed, they will make up a pool of five MOFIA figures serving in ministerial-level positions. They include Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Choi Sang-mok, Minister of Health and Welfare Cho Kyoo-hong and Minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination Bang Ki-sun.

A compound of the abbreviation for the Ministry of Finance and mafia, MOFIA first made news in the 1990s when the finance ministry’s top officials, 바카라사이트 using their powers and connections, began to take top jobs in the government as well as public and private financial institutions after their retirement.

The word has been used to refer to those elites from the Ministry of Finance’s successors, including the Ministry of Strategy and Finance from 2008 to 2018 and the Ministry of Economy and Finance thereafter.

Before the Yoon Suk Yeol administration, as many as four MOFIA figures led top government posts in early 2016 under then-President Park Geun-hye.

“The heyday of the MOFIA can be said to be at its peak with the Yoon government, considering the number of MOFIA is even higher than the Park administration,” a member of People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy, a civic activist group, said on condition of anonymity.

He pointed out that the previous Moon Jae-in administration from 2017 to 2022 was critical of MOFIA appointees and avoided hiring them.

He deemed that the power of the MOFIA is likely to “gain momentum during Yoon’s presidency,” noting that Joo Hyung-hwan, a retired financial bureaucrat and second-in-command of the Presidential Committee on Ageing Society and Population Policy, is touted as the candidate to spearhead the newly proposed Ministry of Population Strategy.

The ministry will be responsible for addressing the low birthrates and rapidly aging population, which Yoon referred to as a “national emergency.”

Given the urgent nature of the demographic crisis, the head of the ministry will double as a deputy prime minister on relevant social affairs.

Shin Yul, a political science professor at Myongji University, agreed that there have been more appointments of retired financial bureaucrats.

“The current government has been favoring finance ministry officials for the top posts from its beginning,” he said.

However, he underlined his disagreement with referring to the aforementioned five as MOFIA, saying, “They have been known for their expertise as bureaucrats and should not be regarded simply as political appointees.”

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