Construction of new presidential residence still under consideration: official

SEOUL-- The incoming Yoon Suk-yeol government is still considering building a new presidential residence inside what is now the defense ministry compound in central Seoul to reduce the distance between his office and his living quarters, according to an aide privy to the matter Thursday.

Work is under way to set up South Korea's new presidential office at the compound in line with Yoon's campaign promise to move it out of Cheong Wa Dae as part of efforts for "closer communication" with the people.

The foreign minister's official residence, about a 10-minute drive from the defense ministry headquarters, is being already renovated as Yoon's official residence. Many expressed concern about a potential security problem and public inconveniences.

"It would be hard to keep commuting," an official close to the president-elect told Yonhap News Agency, with his inauguration less than a week away. "Of course, we need to build a new residence."

The official noted, however, it remains uncertain whether the new residence will be completed within Yoon's single five-year term, given budget constraints and the time needed for construction.

Defense Minister nominee Lee Jong-sup indicated such plans as well, saying the use of the foreign minister's residence will be "temporary."

"I understand (the president's residence) will be moved once a new residence is built," he said during his parliamentary confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency