Moon Jae-in, the former president of South Korea, announced on Monday that he intended to return a pair of canines that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had given him as a present during their 2018 summit, claiming a lack of support from his replacement. Since their arrival in the South, Moon has reared the white Pungsan dogs named “Gomi” and “Songgang,” and after his term ended in May, he brought them to his personal residence.
Although Moon’s office claimed that he had been given caretakership of the canines after negotiations with the presidential archives and the interior ministry, which is an unprecedented decision, the dogs are technically classified as state property and belong to the presidential archives.
To make the transition easier, the agencies had asked for a legislative modification and budgetary backing. However, Moon’s office said that endeavor failed as a result of “unexplained opposition” from the Yoon Suk-your administration.
Former President Moon’s office posted on Facebook that “the presidential office seems to be against delegating the management of the Pungsan dogs to him.”
If so, “we can be cool about it, as such an entrustment is founded on the goodwill of both sides, albeit ending it is regrettable given that they are companion animals he became close to.”
Yoon’s administration vehemently denied thwarting the action, claiming that the agencies are still in discussion and that it has no part to play.
There was discussion on whether to give Moon monthly subsidies totaling about 2.5 million won ($1,800), according to a previous article from the Chosun Ilbo daily, which cited anonymous government and parliamentary insiders.
Requests for response from the interior ministry, which is in charge of the presidential archives, were not immediately fulfilled.
The Ministry of Government Legislation hasn’t objected to the notion, according to a representative, and conversations are still ongoing.