Blue House sacks 3 officials, photographer

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Blue House sacks 3 officials, photographer

President Roh Moo-hyun yesterday has accepted resignation letters from three senior Blue House officials who used a firefighting helicopter to tour the Saemangeum land reclamation area with their families, Yoon Tae-young, the presidential spokesman said yesterday.
Eleven Blue House officials and 12 of their family members traveled to the region June 6, and a North Jeolla province firefighting helicopter was employed for aerial tours.
The trips aboard the firefighting aircraft were widely criticized. Three officials ― Jeong Myeong-chae, Jo Jae-hee and Park Tae-ju ― submitted resignation letters to Moon Hee-sang, the presidential chief of staff, stating that they wanted to take responsibility for the incident.
The Blue House yesterday also fired the presidential photographer who released a photo of 22 senior National Intelligence Service officials to an Internet media site. High-ranking agency officials’ identities are to be kept secret, but OhmyNews obtained the photo and posted it on its news site for 40 hours.
At a disciplinary meeting hosted by Mr. Moon, the Blue House decided that the photographer, identified only as Mr. Seo, was responsible for failing to ask his superiors about use of the photo. The Blue House will investigate the matter further in order to determine the possible responsibility of persons in the public-affairs office, Mr. Yoon, the Blue House spokesman, said.
Mr. Roh scheduled a July 2 meeting for all Blue House staff to discuss strengthening discipline within his administration.


by Kim Sung-tak

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