Moon, Yoon expected to discuss relocation of presidential office

SEOUL-- President Moon Jae-in is expected to hold comprehensive discussions about successor-elect Yoon Suk-yeol's plan to relocate the presidential office out of Cheong Wa Dae when they hold a meeting, a senior aide to Moon said Monday.

Park Soo-hyun, senior presidential secretary for public communication, made the remark to YTN radio, stressing that Cheong Wa Dae remains unchanged in its position to respect Yoon's election pledges and the direction he's going to steer state affairs.

"If the two meet, I think they will also talk broadly about how to realize the president-elect's will to bring Cheong Wa Dae closer to the people," Park said.

Yoon officially announced his decision to move the presidential office from Cheong Wa Dae to what is now the defense ministry building, saying he wants the top office to move out of a "symbol of imperial power" and get closer to the people.

The relocation of Cheong Wa Dae was one of Yoon's key campaign pledges.

Park said Cheong Wa Dae is ready to discuss the budget for the relocation of the presidential office if Yoon's transition team formally asks to do so.

Moon and Yoon had planned to hold a meeting this past Wednesday, but the meeting was called off at the last minute as working-level, pre-meeting discussions had not been completed yet.

Yoon's chief of staff, Chang Je-won, is likely to meet with Lee Cheol-hee, senior presidential secretary for political affairs, later Monday to reschedule the meeting, Yoon's spokesperson Kim Eun-hye said.

"We plan to work to produce a good outcome based on mutual trust," she said at a press briefing at the transition team's headquarters.

Kim refused to address speculation on why the scheduled meeting was postponed, saying the two sides agreed not to disclose the reasons.

"Going forward, it will probably be difficult for us to reveal what agenda was agreed upon or whether there is an agenda," she added.

Local media have reported the initial meeting was called off due to disagreements on the issue of pardoning former President Lee Myung-bak, who is serving a prison sentence for corruption, and appointing personnel to key public posts whose terms are set to end.

Source: Yonhap News Agency