Presidential office almost done, and it's getting a new name
The presidential office’s new moniker and emblem will be revealed on the day of the move.
Since the launch of his administration on May 10, Yoon has been working from a temporary office on the fifth floor of the Defense Ministry building in Yongsan. Remodeling work throughout the 10-floor building is underway, and Yoon will move to the second floor, his permanent office, as soon as it’s complete around June 19 or 20.
The second floor will also have the office of Yoon’s chief of staff, small and large reception rooms and some security services. The third floor will be occupied by presidential senior secretaries, and other floors will be used by the Presidential Security Service, secretariat, other aides and a new public-private committee. The press center is located on the first floor.
The fifth floor office, where Yoon’s summit with U.S. President Joe Biden was held on May 21, will be converted into a multipurpose reception room.
First lady Kim Keon-hee might also use the reception room on the fifth floor, said the presidential office, but not exclusively.
A high-ranking presidential official told reporters Sunday, "The temporary office on the fifth floor will be used as a second office and reception room for distinguished guests, and it can also be used for the public activities of first lady Kim Keon-hee.”
Kim has generally stayed out of public view except for major events including Yoon’s inauguration and a Memorial Day ceremony Monday. Last December, she issued a public apology over allegations she falsified her career credentials in resumes when applying for jobs at universities and said after Yoon’s election as president in March that she planned to assist her husband quietly from the sidelines.
The official presidential residence, the former foreign minister’s residence in Hannam-dong, Yongsan, is also under remodeling and expected to be completed by the end of this month. Yoon has been commuting from his private residence in Seocho-dong, southern Seoul.
The presidential office will also soon reveal its new name, an issue of public curiosity for weeks now.
People can vote from a shortlist of five candidates announced by the presidential office naming committee last week in an online survey that runs through Thursday. They were selected from over 30,000 submissions.
Choices include “People’s House,” a name Yoon previously mentioned as a possibility. The name signifies that the “presidential office is a venue open to all, where the people are the owners,” according to the naming committee.
Another candidate is “Itaewon-ro 22,” a simple reference to the address of the presidential compound to signify “genuine communication with the people by using the street name address used by all citizens.”
The other three possibilities are “Gukmin Cheongsa” (People’s Government Office), “Mineum Cheongsa” signifying “listening to the public's voice,” and “Bareunnuri,” which translates to "righteous world."
The old presidential office, the Blue House, in northern Gwanghwamun in central Seoul, was opened to the public on May 10. The name in Korean was Cheong Wa Dae, literally “Pavilion of Blue Tiles,” referring to the blue tile roof of the old presidential building.
Since the online poll was launched last Friday, over 22,500 people have voted as of Tuesday afternoon at https://www.epeople.go.kr/idea/.
BY SARAH KIM [firstname.lastname@example.org]