Moon calls for meeting with Yoon without conditions

SEOUL-- President Moon Jae-in called Thursday for an unconditional meeting with his successor-elect Yoon Suk-yeol, urging Yoon to make a decision on his own without listening to other people as pre-meeting discussions between their aides have stalled.

"I am an outgoing president and President-elect Yoon is an incoming president. What negotiations are needed in order for the two of us to exchange greetings and words of advice. It's not like we're negotiating," Moon was quoted as saying by Park Soo-hyun, Moon's senior secretary for public communication.

"I've never heard that conditions are necessary for a president-elect to pay a visit to the president," Moon said. "I hope the president-elect will make a decision on his own without listening to other people."

A planned meeting between Moon and Yoon last week was called off at the last minute after the sides reportedly clashed over who would make the nominations and whether to pardon imprisoned former President Lee Myung-bak.

Moon's opposition to Yoon's plan to relocate the presidential office to the defense ministry compound has further complicated prospects for the meeting, which would be their first since Yoon's election on March 9.

On Wednesday, Moon's office announced the nomination of Rhee Chang-yong, director of the Asia and Pacific department at the International Monetary Fund, as the next chief of the Bank of Korea, saying the selection was discussed with Yoon's side.

But Yoon's office refuted the claim, saying there were no prior consultations or recommendations.

A senior official at Cheong Wa Dae told reporters such a tit-for-tat over personnel appointments is not desirable. The official also made it clear Moon will exercise his right to make personnel appointments until his term ends on May 9.

Source: Yonhap News Agency