FM’s residence emerges as key candidate for presidential residence

SEOUL-- The foreign minister's official residence has emerged as "the most reasonable" candidate for the new presidential residence of incoming President Yoon Suk-yeol, transition team officials said Wednesday.

The official residence of the Army chief of staff had originally been considered a top candidate for Yoon's residence following his plan to relocate the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae to the defense ministry compound in Yongsan, central Seoul.

But officials said the Army chief's home is too outdated and run-down for a presidential residence.

"The foreign minister's official residence went through remodeling last year," the official said. "It appears to be the most reasonable alternative (to the Army chief's home)."

Should the place be confirmed as the presidential residence, the foreign minister needs to move out, but the official said follow-up measures have yet to be determined.

Another official earlier said remodeling the Army chief's home is unlikely due to its excessive cost.

"Repair costs for the official residence of the Army chief of staff are larger than expected," an official close to Yoon's office said. "We are reviewing various options."

The Army chief's residence, which was built in the mid-1970s, reportedly requires extensive remodeling, virtually close to reconstruction, as the building itself is too old, even having leaks when it rains.

Meanwhile, Yoon is likely to open the Cheong Wa Dae compound to the public right after his inauguration ceremony on May 10, according to the official.

Yoon has pledged to fully open Cheong Wa Dae to the public for good on the day of his inauguration.

Source: Yonhap News Agency