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Issues in report to president are reasons for Yoon’s relocation of presidential office

Issues in report to president are reasons for Yoon’s relocation of presidential office

Posted March. 23, 2022 07:49,   

Updated March. 23, 2022 07:49


“It will make things more inconvenient for me but I don’t work that way.” It was reported that President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s experience during his years in prosecution with the investigation into the presidential report system within Cheong Wa Dae affected his decision to relocate the presidential office.

“The president-elect was deployed as the head of the special investigation into suspicions related to Choi Soon-sil and former President Park Geun-hye’s whereabouts for seven hours on the day of Sewol ferry’s sinking. He thoroughly investigated the overall report system within Cheong Wa Dae,” said a key person close to Yoon. “He directly found out how reporting was delayed or distorted moving through the layers of Cheong Wa Dae’s report system from a presidential secretary to the secretarial office with regards to the ‘doorknob trio,’” the source added. “It is true that Yoon’s decision to move out of Cheong Wa Dae has been partially affected by such experience.”

In December 2016, Cheong Wa Dae’s report system became a point of controversy in the parliamentary special investigation committee tasked with probing into the manipulation of state administration. “How do you make a written report to the president? Does a lieutenant colonel of the Office of National Security run to the president or is it sent by fax?” a member of the committee asked.

“We ride a bicycle sometimes or simply run other times,” said Kim Jang-soo, the then-head of the Office of National Security. The working environment in Cheong Wa Dae where written reports are made by people riding a bicycle from the secretarial office to the presidential office in the main building or a president’s official residence and it is hard to check if a president has read reports left a strong impression in the president-elect.

“Reports cannot be made in a practical manner if reports to president can only be made with appointments in advance,” Yoon said recently to his people, reportedly. “It would be better for presidential advisors to work closely with president and communicate frequently.”

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com