One Year in, Yoon Suk-yeol Doesn’t Show Up to Work on Time, Doesn’t Read

Yoon was late 14 out of 16 days he reported to the office, and purchased zero books in his first year.

One Year in, Yoon Suk-yeol Doesn’t Show Up to Work on Time, Doesn’t Read

Image: Fictional business card featuring Yoon Suk-yeol. Credit: Office of the President.

Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 was elected president on March 9 one year ago this week. Since then, Yoon has tried to cultivate an image as an employee for Korea, Inc., even printing a business card describing himself as “No. 1 Salesman of the Republic of Korea 대한민국 1호 영업사원”

But Yoon almost never shows up to work on time, raising questions as to how the hypothetical corporation would react to its purported salesperson being habitually late. Because Yoon moved the Office of the President 대통령실 out of the Blue House 청와대, which was both the presidential office and residence, Yoon’s daily trips from his residence to his office have been visible to the public via daily traffic controls on his route to work. (See previous coverage, “Yoon Moves out of Blue House.”)

The official opening time for South Korea’s public officials is 9 a.m. Yoon managed to make it on time for his first day of work on May 11, arriving at his office at 8:34 a.m. From then on, however, Yoon began reporting to work progressively later - at 9:12 a.m. on May 12, and 9:55 a.m. on May 13. (See previous coverage, “Yoon’s Easy First Week.”) By December 2022, Yoon was late on 14 out of 16 days he appeared at the office.

Perhaps the president’s dilatory habits leave him little time to read. According to public disclosures, the Office of the President did not purchase a single book for its library or presidential reading. In contrast, former president Moon Jae-in 문재인 전 대통령 - an avid reader who opened a bookstore in his retirement - purchased 482 books in the first seven months of his presidency. (See previous coverage, “Moon’s New Career: Bookstore Owner.”)

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