SEOUL, May 7 (Korea Bizwire) — The transition team of President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol held a disbandment ceremony Friday, ending a 50-day run marked by power struggles with the outgoing administration over everything from relocation of the presidential office to prosecution reforms.
The committee was launched nine days after Yoon won the March 9 presidential election. Ahn Cheol-soo, who dropped out of the race to support Yoon, was appointed chief of the committee.
“I fall short in many ways, but with the help of all of you, I am confident our state affairs will run smoothly,” Yoon said during the ceremony on the lawn of one of the transition team’s office buildings. “Thank you very, very much for everything up to now.”
In its early days, the transition team sought to push ahead with Yoon’s plan to relocate the presidential office out of Cheong Wa Dae but faced strong resistance from the outgoing Moon Jae-in administration.
After a meeting between Yoon and Moon, which was abruptly postponed once over various disagreements, the relocation project got under way, but not soon enough to finish renovating the new location — the current defense ministry compound — before Yoon’s inauguration next Tuesday.
Yoon mentioned the relocation project in his remarks Friday, citing it as one of the reasons the transition team had to work non-stop following the election without time for a break.
As the personnel nomination process got under way, Ahn expressed his displeasure by not showing up to work for a day after none of his recommendations were accepted by Yoon.
Towards the end of the transition team’s term, much of its activities were overshadowed by the ruling Democratic Party’s push to pass a set of bills aimed at reducing and ultimately removing the prosecution’s investigative powers.
The bills sparked fierce backlash from Yoon’s People Power Party, but the DP used its majority in the National Assembly to railroad them through. Moon signed them into law the same day, a week before Yoon’s inauguration, ensuring they could not be vetoed by the new president.
Wrapping up its activities, the transition team announced 110 key policy tasks that will be pursued under the incoming government, including the “revolutionary” reinforcement of capabilities to respond to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats and the scrapping of the nuclear phaseout policy.
But critics pointed out the absence of key campaign promises, such as the abolition of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family and the purchase of additional units of the U.S. THAAD antimissile system.
The DP’s majority in the National Assembly is believed to have presented challenges for the incoming government in pursuing major projects requiring legislative amendments, leading to its decision to postpone its government reorganization.