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Yoon should reconsider his public communication method

Posted August. 02, 2023 07:45,   

Updated August. 02, 2023 07:45


At the beginning of his inauguration, President Yoon Suk Yeol and his staff were seen from time to time on the first floor of the Yongsan Presidential Office. The public could see the president on the porch waiting for someone or heading somewhere in the car. Even if door-stepping wasn't held every morning, it was possible to recognize that his presence was felt in the same space as some of the laymen. “Space dominates consciousness” is uttered by President Yoon.

Now fast forward a year later. The front screen on the first floor, which was temporarily installed after the "Biden remarks" controversy erupted in September of last year, looks like it has become a permanent fixture. This is a barrier. The silence of the wall is filled by President Yoon's speech at the cabinet meeting or remarks at the chief secretary's meeting. On a day when he speaks intentionally, he says thousands of words or more. In line with the decision of the President's Office, the full text of the remarks will be released. Some utterances are filtered out and made known later on.

Reporters analyze and interpret these remarks and extrapolate the direction in which the highest power will be exercised with the help of additional explanations from President Yoon's aides. The opportunity for reporters to ask questions to the president has not been available since the press conference held on the 100th day of marking the inauguration last year. The press conference for the first anniversary of the inauguration was also reviewed until eventually having it replaced with a simple meal. Various pending issues, such as the normalization of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan, which required a thorough briefing to the public, were conveyed via the State Council speech.

President Yoon emphasizes "global standards" in state affairs. He advises ministers to go on business trips to the United States and learn when the opportunity arises. The US is no exception. Even the president's health records, which are treated as top secret in Korea, are made public. A case in point is that the White House disclosed the tooth number, treatment method, treatment location, treatment team name, and treatment period for which U.S. President Joe Biden received treatment.

In a month, it will be one year since the slang controversy occurred during the visit to the U.S., which led to the suspension of the president’s ‘door stepping.’ The president may not be able to rest properly even during his summer vacation due to flood control and various pending issues, but taking the summer vacation as an opportunity, his political plan needs to include "how to communicate with the public in the Yongsan era." As the saying goes, “even if it means more inconvenience,” interactive communication in which questions are answered more frequently may be the way to improve confidence of the public in state affairs. In addition, President Yoon can choose to do this by facing reporters by surpassing the gap created by the screen, or by holding meetings about pending issues in the briefing room. He could also consider capitalizing on a good occasion, the South Korea-U.S.-Japan Summit at Camp David.