Photo: Baek Jae-kwon, a face reader. Credit: Monthly Chosun.
A police investigation concluded that a spiritual advisor inspected the candidate site for the new presidential residence during move out of the Blue House 청와대. At the beginning of his presidency, President Yoon Suk-yeol 윤석열 대통령 relocated the presidential office from its traditional location in the Blue House, which served both as the office and residence of the president.
Bu Seung-chan 부승찬, former Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense 국방부 부대변인, wrote in his memoir that Master Cheongong 천공 스승, Yoon’s spiritual advisor, had visited the residence of the Army Chief of Staff 육군참모총장. (See previous coverage, “Yoon, Anal Acupuncture, and True Law.”)
In April, the Office of the President 대통령실 filed a criminal complaint against Bu for defamation. After reviewing CCTV footage during the ensuing investigation, police determined that it was not Cheongong but Baek Jae-kwon 백재권, a different (but similarly bearded) spiritual advisor, who visited the site. Baek claims to tell the future through facial physiognomy and feng-shui geomancy.
In 2018, Baek accompanied chairman Hong Seok-hyeon 홍석현 of JoongAng Holdings, publisher of JoongAng Ilbo 중앙일보, South Korea’s second-largest newspaper, to a meeting with Yoon Suk-yeol as then-Supreme Prosecutor weighed a presidential run. Baek predicted Yoon’s victory based on his facial features, which he claimed resembled a crocodile and reflected an exceptional capacity for survival and destruction.
Kim Min-su, spokesman for the ruling People Power Party 국민의힘 대변인 김민수, argued that Baek’s involvement in the selection of the presidential residence shows that claims of Cheongong’s involvement were “fake news,” while also claiming that Baek was “the leading authority in future prediction studies 미래예측학 who advised feng shui in numerous occasion.” An unnamed official in the Office of the President admitted that Baek had been involved in the selection process, but claimed that the president ultimately did not follow Baek’s advice.