President Moon Jae-in on Thursday broke the mold of the top presidential secretariat meeting, telling his aides to stop wasting time taking notes of his remarks and feel free to challenge his views.
Presiding over a meeting of his senior secretaries for the first time since his inauguration two weeks ago, Moon pointed out that it should be their "duty" to oppose his views if need be -- a sharp contrast with his steely predecessor's mode of communication.
The regular meeting of chief presidential secretaries has hitherto been seen as a venue for a head of state to impose his or her own views upon secretaries, who strictly toe the presidential line.
"It is (your) duty to raise objections to the president's directives," Moon said during the meeting with 18 presidential officials, including his chief of staff, national security adviser and policy chief.
|President Moon Jae-in (2nd from L) presides over a meeting of his senior secretaries at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on May 25, 2017. (Yonhap)|
"The meeting of chief secretaries or aides is not a venue for the president to just deliver directives... It is in principle a place to communicate and share with each other," he added.
The president also said that he wants the meeting of top secretaries held twice a week -- Monday and Thursday. He also directed the participants to use laptop computers rather than waste paper.
The meeting dealt with measures to create jobs in the public sector. Moon instructed the government to ensure the passage of a 10 trillion won (US$8.9 billion) supplementary budget bill through parliament next month.
Moon also called for measures to address increasing household debt, saying this will be a topic for the next meeting.
Moon took office on May 10, one day after his landslide victory in the rare presidential by-election triggered by the March 10 ouster of his scandal-hit predecessor, Park Geun-hye. (Yonhap)
Lee Sung-won firstname.lastname@example.org
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