Yoon's office works out initial budget for presidential office relocation
The office of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has asked for between 30 billion and 40 billion won ($2.46 million-3.28 million) in reserve government funds for its project to move the presidential office out of Cheong Wa Dae after talks with related agencies, officials said Sunday.
"Working-level discussions wrapped up without major disagreements," said an official with Yoon's task force on relocation. "If Cheong Wa Dae gives the OK, we anticipate that approval will be possible at a Cabinet meeting on April 5."
During working-level talks held last week, Yoon's task force sat down with officials from the defense ministry, the interior ministry, and the Presidential Security Service.
The two sides agreed to leave on the table, for now, the 11.8 billion won needed to clear out the Joint Chiefs of Staff building for the defense ministry. This was done out of respect for Cheong Wa Dae's concern about a security vacuum, sources close to the discussions said.
Those working-level discussions on specifics of the budget plans began Thursday, the sources added.
It remains unclear if the Cabinet will pass the extra budget in its entirety on Tuesday. The amount approved may be smaller than 30 billion won, or the budget may even be tabled altogether until Cheong Wa Dae completes a further review.
In his dinner with Yoon on Monday, Moon had offered to cooperate with the president-elect's plan to move his office after a "careful" review of the plan.
"Even if we get 30 billion won approved Tuesday, it has already become difficult to move into the new Yongsan office by the inauguration on May 10," the task force official acknowledged.
While the two sides are trying to finalize the financial details of the move, Yoon's task force is scheduled to open a new website on the relocation sometime this week.
The site will gather ideas from the general public on how to use Cheong Wa Dae after the presidential office leaves, and will also run a naming contest for the new Yongsan office.
The task force is looking to open the Cheong Wa Dae compound to the public upon Yoon's inauguration.
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