May 26, 2022

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Good move? S.Korean president’s home stirs feng shui furore

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South Korea’s president-elect Yoon Suk-yeol speaks during a news conference at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, March 10, 2022. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Pool//File Picture

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SEOUL, March 18 (Reuters) – South Korea’s President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol’s prepare to break with a long time of tradition to transfer his future office and home past Seoul’s Blue Home compound has whipped up a fierce discussion involving specialists in the ancient exercise of feng shui.

Yoon, who received a restricted March 9 election, has pledged to relocate his business office to a extra available area, and open up the Blue Household to the general public.

His transition committee conducted on-web site surveys on Friday after drawing up a shortlist of two feasible destinations: a overseas ministry building in the downtown district of Gwanghwamun and the defence ministry advanced in nearby Yongsan.

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Right after initially favouring Gwanghwamun, he was leaning to the army compound chiefly mainly because of protection problems, campaign officials said. With much less than two months before Yoon’s swearing-in, a official announcement is anticipated as early as this weekend.

Yoon’s group stated the transfer would improve general public access, communications with aides, and that the Blue Residence executive mansion experienced develop into a “royal palace,” isolated and enclosed by forests and tight stability.

“We are looking to transfer out of the Blue House, which experienced been a symbol of complete electric power in our record, and return that energy to the people,” Yoon’s spokeswoman Kim Eun-hye told a briefing on Friday.

Only a confined section of the Blue Dwelling is open to the public, and any automobile passing the location is topic to protection checks. Final remodelled in the 1970s, the major presidential workplace inside the compound is significantly from exactly where secretaries operate, which some officers have reported hampers interaction.

Outgoing President Moon Jae-in had also reported he would discover a new workplace, but deserted the system for security and logistical explanations.

‘A BLESSED SPOT’

Some Democratic Social gathering officials have said other things to consider could be in enjoy, and have accused Yoon of becoming influenced by masters of feng shui, a form of geomancy that originated in China. They have stated the Blue Home was inauspicious.

The Democrats alleged in the run-up to the election that a shaman was intently included in Yoon’s campaign. He denied any affect, expressing only that he realized the male as a Buddhist priest.

Jee Jong-hag, head of a key feng shui modern society, said the Blue Dwelling is badly located, which could describe why dozens of ancient kings labored and lived elsewhere. Much more lately, four out of the 6 presidents in the country’s 25-calendar year democratic historical past have been imprisoned or committed suicide right after leaving office.

“I do see the url between the web page and the unwell-fated presidents,” Jee told Reuters. “But Yongsan is a blessed spot, open up and surrounded by light mountains. It is really an incomparably humble but auspicious piece of land in comparison to the Blue Residence location.”

Some Democrats identified as the planned shift a squander of resources that could value up to 1 trillion received ($822.7 million).

Yoon’s spokeswoman dismissed that projection as “gone also much,” and reported his staff would make a final decision centered on public consensus but not squander taxpayers’ money.

The Yonhap information company noted that the inside ministry approximated the expense of transferring into the defence ministry at all over 50 billion gained ($41.14 million).

Everyday South Koreans expressed combined views. Park Kwang-il, 50, explained Yoon ought to foster consensus with acceptable grounds as a sudden shift could bring about site visitors jams or other inconvenience.

Kim Hee-young, 21, mentioned she welcomed Yoon’s intention to raise public entry, unless the relocation was driven by shamanist perception.

“I hope he would occur up with policy options by speaking with the individuals, but he also needs to console and embrace others who could endure destruction from his final decision,” she said.

($1 = 1,215.4800 won)

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Reporting by Hyonhee Shin modifying by Barbara Lewis

Our Criteria: The Thomson Reuters Have faith in Rules.

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