President Moon Jae-in tapped former lawmaker Park Jie-won as the head of the National Intelligence Service in a surprise move.
The presidential office on Friday announced a reshuffle of key diplomatic and security posts, amid a prolonged stalemate in Korean Peninsula affairs.
Park is known for his efforts to arrange the first ever inter-Korean summit in 2000, when he was presidential chief of staff for then President Kim Dae-jung.
"Park contributed to paving the way for the Inter-Korean summit in 2000. And it is our assessment that he has expertise on North Korea, having advised the current administration on inter-Korean issues."
For unification minister, Moon has picked Lee In-young, four-term lawmaker with the ruling party to replace Kim Yeon-chul, who resigned after the North destroyed the joint liaison office.
The top office said that Lee is qualified to pursue the state task of achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and finding creative ways to resolve the stalemate based on his peace-related activities as a lawmaker.
Park and Lee will have go through confirmation hearings at the National Assembly.
"To get us back on the road to peace, I will work to put at least put stepping stones in place, if not a full bridge. I want to achieve the dream of peacefully unifying 80 million Koreans."
Meanwhile, Suh Hoon, outgoing NIS chief, has been named National Security Advisor.
Based on his extensive experience and abundant expertise, it's hoped that he will be able to contribute to achieving denuclearization and peace on the peninsula.
Suh is also known for his wide network with North Korean officials.
"We will respond prudently to the current situation on the Korean Peninsula but will also prepare to move boldly at times."
Chung Eui-yong, the outgoing national security advisor, and Im Jong-seok, former presidential chief of staff, have been tapped as special advisers for diplomatic and security affairs.
They are expected to serve as special envoys to pursue the president's ideas in regards to inter-Korean relations or Seoul-Washington ties.
Friday's shakeup is widely seen as a move to create fresh momentum for an improvement in inter-Korean ties and to get the administration's peace drive back on track.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.