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(LEAD) Moon-Yoon meeting called off due to unfinished working-level consultation

All News 09:01 March 16, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with remarks, details from para 3)
By Kim Deok-hyun

SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- A planned meeting between President Moon Jae-in and President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol has been called off as working-level, pre-meeting discussions have not been completed yet, both sides said.

Moon and Yoon had been scheduled to hold a one-on-one lunch at Cheong Wa Dae on Wednesday in their first meeting since Yoon won the election last week, though the two spoke by phone a day after the election.

"As working-level consultations have not been completed, we decided to reschedule the meeting," Moon's spokesperson Park Kyung-mee said in a statement. "We will continue working-level consultations."

Yoon's spokesperson Kim Eun-hye made similar remarks.

Pre-meeting talks have been led by Lee Cheol-hee, senior presidential secretary for political affairs, and Yoon's chief of staff Chang Je-won to set the agenda for the meeting.

Both sides did not provide details on what the problems were.

But a disagreement over whether to pardon imprisoned former President Lee Myung-bak could be one of them, as Yoon planned to ask for a special pardon for Lee, now serving a 17-year prison term for embezzlement and bribery.

Moon and Yoon had also been expected to discuss a range of other issues, including the presidential transition, coronavirus responses and North Korea's moves to test-fire a new intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

Yoon of the conservative People Power Party won the tight election by a razor-thin margin. Yoon's election was partly viewed as a referendum on the liberal Moon administration.

This file photo, taken July 25, 2019, shows President Moon Jae-in (R) presenting new Prosecutor General Yoon Suk-yeol with a letter of appointment at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. Yoon, the presidential candidate of the main opposition People Power Party, who won South Korea's presidential election on March 10, 2022, is set to take office on May 10 and serve a single five-year term. (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
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