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Yoon: Presidential office should not dig up irregularities on people

Yoon: Presidential office should not dig up irregularities on people

Posted May. 28, 2022 07:36,   

Updated May. 28, 2022 07:36


President Yoon Suk-yeol said on Friday that the presidential office should focus on policies and not engage in digging up irregularities and information on people. President Yoon directly refuted opposition party’s strong criticism on the government’s plan to launch a division under the Justice Ministry responsible for vetting candidates for senior government posts.

When asked about the appropriateness of creating a personnel vetting division under the Justice Ministry, President Yoon told reporters, “That’s what the U.S. does. That’s why I said I would get rid of the office of the senior presidential secretary for civil affairs.” He went on to say that it is not the job of the presidential office to collect information and dig up irregularities on high-level civil servants like the special inspection team did in the past, stressing that inspection agency should be responsible for inspection.

“The presidential office should not engage in collecting information, but instead receive it. It can be objective and data can be accumulated that way,” the president said. “That is why I am doing it the American way. I will push for the launch of the personnel vetting division despite fierce opposition from the opposition party.” An official of presidential office said that the purpose of creating a personnel vetting division is to guarantee the verification process by letting presidential office to recommend candidates and the Justice Ministry to verify their qualifications. It is to reduce the role of the president.”

The Democratic Party (DP), however, raised the level of criticism, considering the possibility of a jurisdiction dispute trial and even the dismissal of Justice Minister Han Dong-hoon. “The party is considering requesting a jurisdiction dispute trial, if necessary,” DP floor leader Park Hong-keun said in a press conference. “Creating a personnel vetting division is worthy of review as it is a matter damaging, depriving, or infringing on the authority of the legislative body, according to legal experts.” Park emphasized that if the government pushes forward with its plan without correcting this issue, the party has no choice but to consider proposing the dismissal of the justice minister.

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com