Yoon plans to move South Korean presidential office

South Korea’s president-elect has announced plans to move the presidential office. Yoon Suk-yeol says the current office called “Cheong Wa Dae”, also known as “Blue House”, is a “symbol of imperial power”.

Yoon held a press conference on Sunday and said he would move into the Defense Ministry compound immediately after his May 10 inauguration.

The ministry is in Seoul’s central Yongsan district, about 5 kilometers south of the presidential office. Yoon promised that Cheong Wa Dae would be fully open to the public.

He had said during his campaign that the president should work closely with his aides and communicate more frequently with people.

He admitted that parts of the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff will have to move to make way for the presidential office.

Yoon mentioned that he was aware of people’s concern that he might rush resettlement with only 50 days until his term begins. He said it will become even more difficult to break free from the Cheong Wa Dae once he takes office as president.

Some media suggest that the relocation could create gaps in national defense. But Yoon dismissed the idea, saying he would complete the resettlement as efficiently and quickly as possible, so as not to disrupt national security.