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(LEAD) Moon says no to ministry's presidential library plan

Politics 20:02 September 11, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS National Archive of Korea's statement in last 2 paras)

SEOUL, Sept. 11 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in does not want a library to store documents and materials produced during his presidency to be constructed, Cheong Wa Dae said Wednesday.

A day earlier, the National Archive of Korea announced a 17.2 billion-won (US$14.4 million) project to build a separate presidential library for Moon.

It cited a shortage of space in the national library for the country's retired presidents, located in Sejong, an administrative town 120 kilometers south of Seoul.

The agency, affiliated with the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, said it aims to open the facility by 2022 in Busan or in Yangsan, South Gyeongsang Province, to where Moon is expected to retire.

The main opposition Liberty Korea Party immediately protested the scheme. It said it will never approve the budget spending for the project.

Responding to news reports on the national archive's move, Moon said he's "perplexed," as he has not ordered it, according to Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung.

Moon was quoted as adding "in a resolute tone" that he does not want a separate library to be built for him, although he understands the background of the agency's initiative.

He made it clear that it's a matter to be handled by the archive, Ko added.

Cheong Wa Dae spokesperson Ko Min-jung speaks at a press briefing at the presidential compound in Seoul on Sept. 11, 2019. (Yonhap)

On Wednesday evening, the National Archive of Korea said in a statement that it decided to "fully reconsider" the project as Moon does not want the library.

The statement means that the National Archive of Korea, which also apologized for "causing unnecessary confusion," will withdraw the project.


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