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Yoon to start presidency at Defense Ministry, confident about no ‘security gap’

Request for prime minister nominee hearing submitted Thursday

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol (Yonhap)

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s new government is taking shape, with the transition committee saying Yoon would start work at the Yongsan Defense Ministry building immediately after taking office and the Cabinet will be formed based on the current government organization.

“President Yoon Suk-yeol will begin his presidency without a security gap on the day the new government is inaugurated on May 10,” a transition committee official said Thursday.

The committee said the relocation of the presidential office hinges on two conditions: “Will the so-called ‘bunkers,’ the crisis management center, that will prevent a security gap be completed?“ and “Will the new president begin his duties at the ministry building?”

The official added that the committee believes both conditions will be met before May 10.

However, the Ministry of National Defense has postponed the moving of the first floor to the fourth floor of the main building until after the Korea-US joint training in late April, so Yoon will likely start work in a temporary office.

According to Yoon’s plan for the building, key facilities such as Yoon’s presidential office, secretary’s office, press room, spokesperson’s office and security office will be located on the first to fourth floors of the current Defense Ministry main building. The fourth and fifth floors will be the aide’s offices, and the sixth floor and above will belong to the public-private joint committee.

The transition committee said it faces a mammoth task as the relocation within the Ministry of National Defense building covers 10 floors, and that it will be “done partially and step by step.”

Yoon plans to form a Cabinet based on the current government organization system, according to Ahn Cheol-soo, chairman of the presidential transition committee.

Ahn said of the reorganization Thursday that they decided that it would be “better to focus on the current national affairs rather than make hasty decisions during the transition period.“

Ahn said he would also announce the candidate for the minister of gender equality and family who would oversee the department that has been on the verge of abolition.

“The transition committee has been reviewing the issue of reorganizing the government in-depth,” Ahn said. “We have considered recent economic issues at home and abroad and the difficult situation of diplomacy and security.”

Yoon’s office is also pushing for the nomination process of the prime minister.

The prime minster’s office said a request for a confirmation hearing for Han Duck-soo, the prime minister nominee, was submitted to the National Assembly on Thursday.

Yoon Suk-yeol has asked former Prime Minister Han to reprise his role again, saying he is the “right person” to oversee and coordinate the Cabinet and carry out state affairs based on his abundant experience in the public and private sectors.

By Shin Ji-hye (shinjh@heraldcorp.com)
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