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President Yoon suspends having daily chats with reporters

President Yoon suspends having daily chats with reporters

Posted November. 22, 2022 07:47,   

Updated November. 22, 2022 07:47


The ruling People Power Party (PPP) held the MBC News accountable for South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol’s decision on Monday to suspend taking questions from reporters on his way to the office. To the conservative party’s comment, “MBC should be held responsible for the disturbance it has made,” the main opposition Democratic Party of Korea (DPK) and the Justice Party lashed out, describing the ruling party’s criticism as “a small-minded response” and “an act to set up a wall between the media and the people.”

The conservative party highlighted that MBC is to blame for the decision to halt the so-called ‘doorstepping sessions.’ It also strongly criticized the MBC reporter who got into a heated altercation during the session on Friday, saying that he “threw a tantrum acting like a hooligan.” Yang Geum-hee, a senior spokesperson of PPP, said, “Setting aside the reporter’s lack of courtesy, such as wearing slippers or folding his arms in front of the president, he mentioned ‘military regime’ and ‘dictatorship’ for not responding to his question, and after the President left the scene, he yelled at a presidential aide turning the session for communication into a chaos.” Another PPP spokesperson, Park Jeong-ha, said, “There is a clear difference between the freedom and self-indulgence of media.”

“When I served as presidential spokesperson, all reporters were dressed up with ties, and they were always in an upright position.” “It’s the people and other reporters except for MBC ones who may bear the cost of devastating relations between the presidential office and the media,” said Kim Haeng, a member of the PPP’s emergency measure committee who served as spokesperson for former President Park Geun-hye, in an interview with CBS on Monday. She also noted the need to install a wall in the lobby of President Yoon’s office, saying, “Currently, the lobby area is open to reporters that they can watch the president’s every little movement from the press room. Some even recorded when the president comes in and out of the office.”

Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon of the PPP commented on Facebook that it was “a malicious rampage by some substandard media” and “the MBC News muddied a platform for communication with the president.” Rep. Kwon Seong-dong of the PPP also said, “the MBC reporter went on the rampage like a hooligan shouting ‘military regime’ in slippers.

On the other hand, the opposition party stood against Yoon’s decision, saying it showed his lack of will to communicate and his self-righteousness. “The administration is now setting up a wall that would symbolize its lack of communication and stubbornness and also halting the doorstepping only making things worse,” DP floor leader Park Hong-geun said at the Supreme Council Meeting on Monday. “Our politics is heading toward a political cliff.” Senior spokesperson Ahn Ho-young denounced the government, saying, “Refusing to answer uncomfortable questions shows the government’s lack of will to communicate.” “It can hide its distorted view of the press behind the wall, but it will end up drifting further from its people.

Dong-Joo Cho djc@donga.com · Hoon-Sang Park tigermask@donga.com