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Yoon's office sues ex-lawmaker over alleged false claim on relocation of presidential residence

Politics 16:40 December 06, 2022

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- The office of President Yoon Suk-yeol said Tuesday it sued a former lawmaker on charges of spreading false claims that a fortune teller was involved in the site selection process for the new presidential residence.

Kim Jong-dae, the former lawmaker of the progressive Justice Party, alleged during radio and Youtube interviews Monday that the fortune teller, known as Cheongong, made visits to candidate sites in March, including the residence of the Army chief of staff.

He also claimed Cheongong was accompanied by Kim Yong-hyun, head of the presidential security service.

The secret service chief flatly denied the claim.

After winning the March 9 presidential election, Yoon carried out his campaign promise and relocated the presidential office from Cheong Wa Dae to the former defense ministry building in Yongsan.

The former foreign minister's residence in Hannam-dong has also been transformed into a new presidential residence. Yoon and first lady Kim Keon-hee moved into the new residence last month.

In a statement, the presidential office said the fortune teller had "no involvement in any form in the process of relocating the presidential office."

"Spreading fake news is an act of undermining the foundation of democracy," it said.

The radio show's host, liberal commentator Kim Ou-joon, was also sued on charges of colluding with defamation, according to the presidential office.

It was the second time the presidential office filed a complaint against anyone since the start of the administration.

Last month, the presidential office sued an opposition lawmaker on charges of spreading false claims that first lady Kim Keon-hee staged her photos with a sick Cambodian child.

Rep. Jang Kyung-tae of the main opposition Democratic Party was accused of making false claims that the photos were taken with at least two or three pieces of studio lighting and posting such "fake news" on his social media, the office has said.

The presidential office building in Yongsan in central Seoul (Yonhap)

The presidential office building in Yongsan in central Seoul (Yonhap)

kdh@yna.co.kr
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