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(LEAD) Moon's chief of staff, five senior aides offer to resign

All News 15:24 August 07, 2020

(ATTN: CHANGES headline; ADDS more details in paras 2, 5-6)

SEOUL, Aug. 7 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in's chief of presidential staff and five other senior aides offered to resign on Friday, taking responsibility for recent management of administration, the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

The officials include Presidential Chief of Staff Noh Young-min and all five senior secretaries of Noh's team: Kang Gi-jung for political affairs, Yoon Do-han for public communication, Kim Jo-won for civil affairs, Kim Geo-sung for civil society, Kim Oe-sook for personnel management.

"They are offering to resign to take overall responsibility for recent situations," said a high-ranking presidential official who is familiar with the matter.

Asked if the "recent situation" referred to the public criticism over what many people believed to be a failed real estate policy, the official did not provide a direct answer.

It is the first offer of mass resignation by Moon's senior secretaries since he took office in May 2017. The move is widely believed to be intended at taking responsibility for the president's mediocre approval ratings. In a recent poll by the Seoul-based survey company Realmeter, his approval rating stood at 44.5 percent, far below this year's peak of 63.7 percent in late April.

The presidential office has been under intense public fire lately for what some people called hypocrisy after senior secretaries, including Noh, were found to own more than one house at a time when the government is trying to rein in speculative home buying.

The official added that Moon will decide whether to accept their offers.

This image provided by Yonhap News TV shows Noh Young-min, presidential chief of staff. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr
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