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President Yoon resumes ‘door stepping’ session

Posted July. 13, 2022 08:05,   

Updated July. 13, 2022 08:05


Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol resumed a so-called "doorstepping" briefing session just a day after it was suspended due to COVID-19 resurge. The move apparently demonstrates Yoon's strong will to communicate despite some criticisms that such informal morning sessions with the press was the cause of his declining approval rating.

On Tuesday morning, President Yoon stopped for a moment and said to the journalists waiting for and greeting him near the central gate of the Presidential Office in Yongsan, Seoul that he recommended them to work from home and wanted those working at the government complex to stay safe but they just kept coming. Reporters suggested asking questions in about 7-meter distance and Yoon replied with a smile to shoot a question if they have any. So began an unscheduled doorstepping session on site.

On the question of plans to respond to COVID-19 resurge, Yoon said that a meeting was held in the presidential office on Monday joined by the commissioner of the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the head of the National Infectious Disease Crisis Response Committee and Vice Minister of Health and Welfare and there will be another meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters convened by the Prime Minister on Wednesday, from which some basic rules and instructions will be set. On the question of how to tackle economic crisis, Yoon answered that safeguarding the livelihood of the ordinary people would be the most important priority.

As questions followed one after another, President Yoon said with smile that the press had unusually many questions on that day. When asked about whether there will be a "doorstepping" session the next day, Yoon answered, after briefly looking at his security team, that it may not be entirely impossible and suggested that a press access line be set up in a few days acceptable by the reporters. The official at the Presidential Office said nothing was pre-arranged about resuming the "doorstepping" sessions and added that it just reflected Yoon's true character that considers communicating with journalists on site important.

Kwan-Seok Jang jks@donga.com