Photo: Yonhap News
The presidential office expressed confidence that members of the public will understand the need for a state guesthouse in the new presidential compound.
At a Friday briefing, a senior office official said a reception hall was an unavoidable necessity for the president to receive foreign and domestic guests with dignity.
The official noted that since the office moved, official events have been held at outdoor venues around Seoul, including hotels, the War Memorial and the National Museum of Korea, noting that such arrangements incur costs of safety issues and unnecessarily disturb the public.
The idea that the former state guesthouse in the Cheong Wa Dae compound could be used was dismissed out of hand, with the official saying the facility is already open to the public.
Earlier on Friday, it was revealed that a budget of over 80 billion won had been requested for the construction of a state guesthouse and other related facilities at the new presidential office complex.
Regarding the doubling of an earlier estimate, the official said that the previous cost was only for the relocation of the presidential office.