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No taxpayer money used to buy clothes for first lady: Cheong Wa Dae

All News 15:13 March 29, 2022

SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- First lady Kim Jung-sook purchased her clothes with her own money during President Moon Jae-in's five-year term, a spokesperson at Cheong Wa Dae said Tuesday, denying speculation that Kim might have used taxpayer money to buy her clothes.

Shin Hye-hyun, deputy spokesperson at Cheong Wa Dae, also said the presidential office did not use off-the-record expenses for her clothes.

"With regard to the clothes of first lady Kim Jung-sook for official events, these are groundless claims, such as the use of special activity expenses, but they are not true at all," Shin told reporters.

For sponsored clothes that Kim wore during international events and summits, she donated or returned them, a senior official at Cheong Wa Dae said.

Kim's purchases of clothes, jewelry and accessories have recently drawn attention on social media. On Monday, Rep. Chung Mi-kyung of the conservative People Power Party demanded Cheong Wa Dae disclose how much she spent on such items.

The so-called special activity expenses are allotted to the prosecution, the national spy agency and other select government organs for intelligence operation purposes and information on how they are spent is kept confidential.

Earlier this month, Cheong Wa Dae appealed a court ruling that the presidential office should disclose information on its off-the-record expenses, including those spent on clandestine operations and the first lady's spending as part of protocol.

Cheong Wa Dae decided to appeal the ruling after taking various elements into consideration, including the fact that a disclosure could undermine the public interest.

No taxpayer money used to buy clothes for first lady: Cheong Wa Dae - 1


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