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Blue House guarded on Moon’s daughter’s whereabouts

Jan 31,2019
The ruling Democratic Party on Wednesday urged an opposition lawmaker to apologize to President Moon Jae-in for claiming that his daughter and her family may have moved abroad because they were dissatisfied with Korea’s economy or education system.

The main conservative Liberty Korea Party (LKP) refused to back down, saying the Blue House has yet to respond to its lawmaker’s open inquiry asking why Moon’s daughter left the country.

The tit-for-tat began Tuesday when LKP Rep. Kwak Sang-do, during an LKP internal meeting, disclosed paper documents he said were submitted by Moon’s daughter to her son’s elementary school on July 11, 2018, which indicated that the family was going to move abroad.

Kwak, a former prosecutor, said he found out that Moon’s grandson, who at the time was a second-grader, is now attending an international school in one of 10 countries that comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Vietnam, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Myanmar, Malaysia, Laos, Indonesia, Cambodia and Brunei.

Kwak claimed that a day before Moon’s daughter informed her son’s school about the move overseas, she sold her villa in Jongno District, central Seoul.

The opposition lawmaker asked the Blue House to reveal how much the Presidential Security Service was spending on protecting Moon’s daughter and her family in a foreign country, noting it would cost more than if they were living in Korea.

Kwak also asked why the family moved abroad, saying that if it were for the child’s education, it would mean the Korean education system had “flaws.”

If it were due to the parents’ careers, it could mean they were “dissatisfied” with the Korean economy, he continued.

“The public needs to know about the complaints of the president’s children,” said Kwak.

The LKP lawmaker also took a jab at Moon’s son-in-law, saying “speculation is running rampant” that the government funded 20 billion won ($17.9 million) to a company he worked for, and 3 billion won was allegedly embezzled, so the Blue House told him to leave the country while they settle the case.

Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said in a statement Tuesday that Moon’s daughter and her family was currently engaged in “normal economic activities” and that the decision to leave Korea had nothing to do with the country’s economic situation or her son’s education.

Kim said he couldn’t infringe on Moon’s daughter’s privacy without concrete evidence of illegality because doing so would put the president’s family in danger.

In turn, the spokesman said Kwak infringed upon Moon’s grandson’s personal information by obtaining his academic documents and revealing them to the press, calling Kwak “shameless” for dragging an elementary school kid into a political tiff.

The Blue House will check how Kwak acquired the documents and see if any illegal tactic was involved, Kim stressed.

In response, Kwak explained that he legally received the papers from the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education.

An official from the office said the bureau that received Kwak’s request for information apparently thought the lawmaker was trying to collect data on how many Korean students were moving abroad.

BY HYUN IL-HOON, LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]


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