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South Korea’s next leader abandoning Blue House for new office

Seoul, South Korea (AP) — South Korea’s President-elect On Sunday, he said he would abandon the Blue House’s hillside presidential residence and set up his office on the premises of the Ministry of Defense in central Seoul for better communication with the public.

This immediate backlash from critics of the relocation plan warned that the sudden move of high-ranking government officials would undermine South Korea’s national security, require excessive spending, and infringe on the property rights of residents of the new presidential palace area. The plan was pulled out.

One of President Yoon Seok-yul’s main election promises is the relocation of Cheong Wa Dae, and the conservative former Supreme Prosecutor, whose term of office will begin on May 10 for five years, said the location and design of the Blue House. Excessive force is used away from the public, who said South Korean leaders have called for criticism that they have been reduced.

In the Blue House complex, the presidential advisor’s office and press room are not in the same building where the president works, but hundreds of meters (yards) apart. Some former officials said they would use bicycles and cars to visit the president.

Yun said at a press conference on Sunday that he chose the Pentagon facility because it already has security-related headquarters.

Yun said he would begin his term at the new office, saying that Defense Ministry officials would be transferred to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and JCS officials would be phased out to suburban war headquarters. Soul.

Yun said a large public park will be set up near the new presidential palace, allowing the general public to see his office nearby. He also said he would set up a press center and meet journalists frequently.

According to Yun’s plan, the current Blue House will be open to the public as a park on the day of his inauguration, gathering public opinion and choosing the name of the new office.

Critics of Yun’s plan say they need more urgent attention to other challenges, such as the surge in COVID-19, North Korea’s nuclear threat, and various economic hardships, and do not rush to relocate. I asked.

South Korea’s largest political party, the Liberal Democratic Party, Yun Ho-jun, said the sudden move in the defense ministry’s key facilities would create a “big hole in national security” in the North Korean threat. .. He said some Seoul residents are likely to suffer “extreme damage” to their property rights as government restrictions are expected on development in areas near the new office.

“Is it appropriate to unilaterally promote the relocation of the Blue House and the Defense Ministry, which determines national security and the property rights of citizens, without hearing public opinion?” Prompted. ..

According to South Korean media, a group of 11 former Chiefs of Staff of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has issued a statement to Yun’s transition team against the move, which will allow the enemy to attack Cheong Wa Dae and military headquarters at the same time. Stated.

Democratic Party President Moon Jae-in had previously promised to leave Cheong Wa Dae, but canceled the plan because he could not find a place for the new office.

Yun is aware of the concerns, but said it would be difficult to leave if he began his term at the Blue House, which critics call “a symbol of imperial power.”

“I know that relocating Cheong Wa Dae is not an easy task, but if I cancel my promise to the people again (at the time of the relocation), other future presidents will not try it,” Yun said. “. I made this decision for the future of the country. “

Yun said the move would cost about 50 billion won ($ 41 million). Some critics said it would cost up to 1 trillion won ($ 825 million), an estimate that Yun called “unfounded.”

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