Yoon’s Yongsan office to feature simple reception hall

SEOUL-- The transition team is pushing to create a simplified reception hall right next to the incoming president's office scheduled to open on the second floor of the defense ministry building now being converted into the new presidential office, team officials said Friday.

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol plans to start his presidential duty at his temporary office on the fifth floor of the new presidential office building in Yongsan, central Seoul, after taking office on Tuesday. He will later move to his permanent office to be installed on the second floor of the same building.

When the second floor office is completed, a large hall that can accommodate up to 200 people will be installed on the same floor to host receptions for state guests and other events, according to the team officials.

The simple reception hall will be about half the size of Yeongbingwan, the existing state reception hall located in Cheong Wa Dae, but can be used by the incoming president for various diplomatic events, the officials said. Cheong Wa Dae, the current presidential compound, will be open to the public beginning Tuesday in line with Yoon's campaign pledge.

While announcing the relocation of the presidential office from Cheong Wa Dae to Yongsan in March, Yoon said he will consider building a new Yeongbingwan on the site of Yongsan Park that will be returned from United States Forces Korea.

Yongsan's simple reception hall, however, may not be used for the South Korea-U.S. summit slated for May 21 in Seoul, due to the ongoing remodeling work of the second floor, the officials noted.

It has been confirmed that both small-group and extended summit meetings with U.S. President Joe Biden will be held at Yoon's fifth floor office and adjoining reception room. The welcome dinner for the U.S. president, slated for May 20, will be held at the National Museum of Korea, also in the Yongsan district.

Meanwhile, Yoon is expected to use his fifth floor office as a diplomatic stage soon after his inauguration by holding a string of meetings there with foreign guests from about 10 countries who will visit Seoul to attend his inauguration ceremony.

Source: Yonhap News Agency