The Korea Herald


President-elect seeks to start term outside Cheong Wa Dae

Yoon looks to install office in Seoul Government Complex instead

By Ko Jun-tae

Published : March 11, 2022 - 13:03

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View of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Thursday (Yonhap) View of the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Thursday (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol and his aides are working to move the presidential office from where it is now in Cheong Wa Dae to the government complex by the Gwanghwamun area in Seoul, as he had promised during his campaign.

The project would be one of the first initiatives Yoon will push in starting his presidential transition committee, which will officially launch within the next two weeks. The committee is expected to have around 200 officials, including many experts and officials who took part in Yoon’s campaign.

Yoon hopes to start his five-year term at the government complex and it is likely that he would take the prime minister’s office in the building. The prime minister’s office would then be relocated to the government complex in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi Province.

According to the People Power Party, Yoon is preparing to launch a task force dedicated to coordinating the presidential office move. The initiative is what Yoon promised voters from very early on since joining the presidential race as a potential flagbearer for the People Power Party.

Yoon considers Cheong Wa Dae a symbol of emperor-like presidential power and a blockade to political reforms. By moving the office to a government building already in use, it would help the Yoon administration overhaul that image and reinforce the idea that the presidential office is just like any other state-run agencies in look and size.

The presidential committees will also be housed within the Seoul complex, and Yoon could move to live in Samcheong-dong in Seoul to stay close to the presidential office.

Yet the relocation requires extensive discussions on how security services can be provided and what additional facilities are needed to make sure the presidential office can run smoothly without limitations. The public would also have to be consulted on the project.