What is Moon trying to hide?The Blue House has appealed a court ruling that ordered the presidential office to release the details of expenditures for ceremonious and special activities by President Moon Jae-in and the First Lady.
The Korea Taxpayers’ Association filed a suit in 2018, asking to see how much of the government budget went to clothing of the president and his wife and lunches the Blue House spent for cabinet members. The Blue House refused, claiming that the details contained sensitive information about national security, defense and foreign policies and therefore could not be shared for fear of causing “serious damage” to national interests.
The Blue House added that the wardrobes for diplomatic ceremonies was being “subsidized at the minimum from the budget.” It argued it could not release lunch prices and their providers in workshops and meetings with cabinet members as it could “cause serious damage to national interests such as security.” We wonder what relation there is between the information on meal kits and national security anyway.
Last month, the court ruled that such information could not have any impact on national interests and ordered the Blue House to release the information excepting confidential items in special activities. Still, the presidential office maintained that it could not comply and appealed the ruling.
In 2017, President Moon asked why the Ministry of Environment was appealing when the court ordered it to release information. As the opposition earlier, his party had been very strict with the conservative administration’s expenditures for special activity.
The Moon Jae-in administration refused to comply with the court ruling to release government documents on the killing in 2020 of a government employee by North Korean soldiers in the West Sea and appealed the ruling. During his visit to Seoul, Tomás Ojea Quintana, UN Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights in North Korea, inquired why the South Korean government appealed to the court ruling.
The Blue House can appeal a court ruling. But its motive is clear. An appeal court’s ruling would come out after Moon’s term ends in May. The files then will go under presidential archives and cannot be disclosed for the next 30 years. The Blue House insisted that the information which will be part of the presidential archives cannot be shared with the public. It was President Roh Moo-hyun who enacted the law on keeping presidential records for transparency and liability in governance. But his friend Moon abuses the law. We seriously wonder what he is trying to hide?