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Busy Preparing for Roh`s Homecoming

Posted February. 20, 2008 05:18,   


Cheong Wa Dae busily prepares for President Roh Moo-hyun’s retirement.

On Monday, a week prior to his scheduled homecoming, a 3.5-ton truck delivered two dining tables, which appeared to be for 10 and 4 people, respectively, to President Roh’s private residence in Bongha Village, Gimhae, South Gyeongsang Province. Household items have already begun to arrive.

“Large items will gradually be delivered to the house before he leaves office,” said a Cheong Wa Dae official.

President-elect Lee Myung-bak’s items are also scheduled to be moved to Cheong Wa Dae. Though President Roh will stay in Cheong Wa Dae on the night of Feb. 24, the last day of his tenure, furniture will be rearranged and wall papers will be changed beforehand in accordance to President-elect Lee’s preferences.

Former and incumbent aides to President Roh are also busy carving out a new career ahead of Roh’s retirement. Following the release of a white paper, they are expected to launch a publishing firm and research institutes.

Presidential chief of staff Moon Jae-in and senior presidential secretary for civil government Lee Ho-cheol will continue to assist President Roh while seeking political careers in their stronghold of Busan, according to sources.

Former presidential spokesman Yoon Tai-young, widely known as a close confidant of the president, will organize the records of the Roh administration without having an official title. Yoon is expected to visit Bongha Village on a regular basis while residing in Seoul.

Many also speculate that presidential press secretary Yang Jeong-cheol, who spearheaded the closure of pressrooms, and claimed himself a martyred government official in the process, will likely work with Yoon.

Speech planning secretary Kim Gyeong-soo and personal secretary Moon Yong-wook, administrator for the president’s private affairs Park Eun-ha will also continue to work for President Roh in his residence in Bongha Village.

Meanwhile, Roh’s portrait was hung in the main building of Cheong Wa Dae on Tuesday.

The portrait was put on the first floor of the main building where Cabinet meetings are convened. To the left of his picture, former presidents’ portraits also hung in the order of tenures. From the left, former Presidents Syngman Rhee, Yun Bo-seon, Park Jung-hee, Choi Kyu-ha, Chun Doo-hwan, Roh Tae-woo, Kim Young-sam to former President Kim Dae-jung.

Artist Lee Jong-gu drew Roh’s portrait. Though President Roh originally requested a portrait by both Western-style painter Kim Ho-seok and Eastern-style painter Lee, only Lee’s work was selected to be hung in Cheong Wa Dae.