UPDATE : 2019.1.18 FRI 17:40
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President Moon to hold new year press conference this week

President Moon Jae-in will hold a press conference this week to address his administration's policy objectives for the new year, South Korea's presidential office said Sunday.

The first press conference by the president in 2019 will start at 10 a.m. Thursday, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

In this file photo taken Jan. 10, 2018, South Korean President Moon Jae-in holds a press conference after delivering his new year address at the presidential office in Seoul. (Yonhap)

Moon will first give a keynote speech for about 20 minutes explaining the direction and tone of his major policies for the new year. He will then take questions from some 200 local and foreign journalists from 10:25 a.m.

It will be Moon's second new year press conference since he took over the office in May 2017. It will also be Moon's third to be broadcasted live on television.

In the 100-minute press event, Moon is expected to give his plans and thoughts regarding various issues ranging from local politics, the economy and inter-Korean relations.

Kwon Hyuk-ki, who heads the Cheong Wa Dae press center, known as Chunchugwan, said Moon will host a question-and-answer session with reporters by himself to facilitate better communication.

"We plan to have the question-and-answer session be like a town hall meeting, and the president will take questions and give his answers in a comfortable atmosphere from beginning to end," Kwon said. "In last year's press conference, there were no follow-up questions, but this time, the president could take follow-up questions, depending on the situation."

Kwon said the question-and-answer session will touch on three areas -- foreign affairs and security, economy, and politics and society -- and the president will pick a reporter who raises his or her hand.

Moon's press conference will be attended by his secretaries, who will be seated next to the reporters, according to Kwon.

The president is expected to change his chief of staff and several secretaries this week in an effort to refresh the atmosphere of his administration as he entered his third year in office, according to sources in the ruling party.

The incumbent chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, Han Byung-do, senior political affairs secretary and Yoon Young-chan, the top press secretary, are all speculated to be in line for replacement.

Moon is also considering carrying out the Cabinet reshuffle late this month or in early February to replace ministers who are seeking to run in next year's parliamentary elections. (Yonhap)

Lee Young-woong  edt@koeapost.com

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