Lots of preparations for Tuesday's inauguration of Yoon Suk-yeol
The event will be attended by 20 people selected by the inauguration committee representing different regions and generations, as well as North Korean defectors and naturalized citizens. Invited representatives include Dr. Ihn Yo-han, or John Linton, the first special naturalized Korean citizen in 2012; planetary scientist Sim Chae-kyung; and swimmer Min Byeong-eon, a Paralympic medalist.
The ceremony is keeping with a ritual ringing the Bosingak bell 33 times to signal a new day during the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), signaling the opening of Seoul's four main and four small gates after they were closed for the night.
Yoon will begin his morning schedule Tuesday with a visit to the Seoul National Cemetery, the resting place of many past presidents and fallen Korean heroes, in Dongjak District, southern Seoul.
Yoon's inauguration will be at the plaza in front of the National Assembly in Yeouido, western Seoul at 11 a.m. There will be pre-ceremony events starting at 10 a.m.
Some 41,000 people including two former presidents, lawmakers and foreign dignitaries are invited to the ceremony. Outgoing President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook will attend before leaving for their retirement home in Yangsan. Former president Park Geun-hye is also attending.
A preparatory committee extended invitations to 700 people from various fields to attend, including actor O Yeong-su, a Golden Globe winner for his performance in Netflix series "Squid Game."
There will be 800 guides and 400 volunteers. Attendees will be required to wear masks, despite the easing of the outdoors mask mandate.
The slogan for the inauguration is "Again, the Republic of Korea! A new country of the people."
After the ceremony, Yoon will extend a farewell to Moon and other guests and immediately move to his new presidential office in Yongsan District, central Seoul, to start work.
In the afternoon, Yoon will attend a celebratory event at the National Assembly's Rotunda Hall.
He is also considering visiting local parks or senior centers and finding an opportunity to chat with residents of Yongsan in between events.
Later, an official inauguration dinner for foreign guests will be held at The Shilla Seoul's Yeong Bin Gwan guesthouse.
U.S. President Joe Biden designated Douglas Emhoff, husband of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, to lead an eight-member presidential delegation, said the White House in a statement Wednesday.
Other members are Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh; Rep. Ami Bera of California; Rep. Marilyn Strickland of Washington; Todd Sunhwae Kim, an assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice's environment division; Linda Hee Jung Shim, special assistant to the president for economic agency personnel; "Pachinko" author Min Jin Lee; and Christopher Del Corso, chargé d'affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul
Roads and subways around the area will be restricted around the inauguration ceremony time.
Traffic signals will be controlled at major roads leading to the National Assembly for 12 hours from 1 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday.
From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. subways will pass through the National Assembly Station on Line 9 without stopping. The National Assembly Station will block gates 1 and 6 and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., all six gates at the station will be blocked.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Wednesday that it would make special transportation arrangements to minimize inconvenience to people due to traffic control on the day of the inauguration. This includes operating Line 5 more frequently to take into consideration increased visitors in the area.
BY SARAH KIM [email@example.com]