President Roh Tae-woo Thursday named a new prime minister and reshuffled his Cabinet in a bid to polish his party's image before a series of elections starting next year.
Also Thursday, authorities announced more than 50 arrests as part of a continuing crackdown on anti-government activity.Some opposition and dissident groups charge the arrests are part of a scheme to suppress dissent as Roh's Democratic Liberal Party approaches its first local elections in 30 years.
After Roh named him as prime minister, Ro Jai-bong immediately issued a statement calling for law and order and said the conservative government will make further talks with longtime rival North Korea a priority.
"The priorities will be on establishing social discipline as well as law and order, progress in inter-Korea dialogue and multilateral diplomacy," said Ro, a former
"I am disappointed," Kim Dae-jung, head of the leading opposition Party for Peace and Democracy, said of the Cabinet changes. He said they made the government more conservative and rightist.
But the naming of a new prime minister and nine new Cabinet ministers indicates little substantive changes in policy, either domestic or foreign.
Some appointments reflected emphasis on dialogue and exchanges with archrival North Korea.
A government intelligence agency on Thursday announced the arrest of 53 radicals on charges of infiltrating campuses and the military, allegedly to foment violent revolution.
The arrests bring to 84 the number of people charged in the past two days with anti-government activity.