President Yoon Suk Yeol Plans Response to First Lady’s Luxury Bag Controversy

SEOUL – President Yoon Suk Yeol is reportedly considering a public statement this month to address allegations involving his wife, First Lady Kim Keon Hee, and a luxury bag she allegedly received as a gift in 2022. The escalating controversy is said to be casting a political shadow on Yoon, particularly with the upcoming April general elections.

According to Yonhap News Agency, President Yoon is contemplating sharing his perspective on the issue during a policy vision interview with a selected media outlet. An official from the presidential office indicated that a television interview might be the preferred format over a traditional press conference. The allegations suggest that the First Lady received a luxury bag, valued at approximately 3 million won (US$2,200), from a Korean American pastor in 2022. The incident came to light following a video released by a liberal YouTube news channel, which reportedly shows Kim accepting the Christian Dior bag.

In his anticipated response, President Yoon is expected to clarify the circumstances and seek public understanding. He is also likely to assert that the First Lady is the victim of a political maneuver and an unlawful hidden camera recording.

The state broadcaster KBS is being considered as a potential platform for the interview, although Yoon's office has stated that other options are being evaluated and no final decision has been made yet.

This development follows a recent disagreement with Han Dong-hoon, the leader of the ruling People Power Party. Han rebuffed the presidential office's request for his resignation in the wake of the luxury bag scandal. While the dispute between Yoon and Han seemed to be resolving, some party members believe the presidential office should take more direct steps to address the situation. Han described the video as a deliberate "hidden camera trap," acknowledging that there were elements in the situation that could cause public concern, and stressed the importance of viewing the issue from the perspective of the people.

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