SEOUL– The government estimates that relocating the presidential office to the defense ministry compound will cost 50 billion won (US$41 million), while relocating it the foreign ministry building will cost 100 billion won, an official said Thursday.
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s transition team has been preparing to move the presidential office in line with Yoon’s campaign promise to open Cheong Wa Dae to the public.
“The interior ministry is estimating the budget for moving the president’s office and the offices of his secretaries,” the official told Yonhap News Agency. “Moving them into the annex of the Seoul government complex costs about twice as much as moving into the defense ministry.”
Using the annex is expensive partly because the foreign ministry would have to move out and pay rent on alternative office spaces, according to the official.
Setting up a secure network for communication with overseas missions would also cost around 30 billion won.
In contrast, the defense ministry compound has enough empty space within its existing buildings to accommodate the presidential office.
The two sites cost roughly the same in terms of renovating the office space with added security and transferring items to the new location.
Another official said the estimates have continued to change, but “cost will be a major factor, as it involves taxpayer money.”
Source: Yonhap News Agency