S.Korean President suspends informal media briefings, citing COVID-19 | Daily News

S.Korean President suspends informal media briefings, citing COVID-19

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol
South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea’s President will suspend informal media briefings he has held nearly every day since taking office in May, his office said today, citing rising numbers of COVID-19 infections as a survey showed a fall in his approval ratings.

The end of the free-wheeling briefings, which broke with years of tradition as President Yoon Suk-yeol sought to step up transparency, also comes amid growing questions over scandal and party turmoil.

Yoon’s approval ratings stood at 37 per cent, pollster Realmeter’s survey showed today, down from more than 52 per cent in the first week of June, while 57 per cent now disapproved of his performance.

In its statement, Yoon’s office said other coverage of the president would also be limited, with spokespersons switching to mainly written comments, along with photographs and videos of his events, rather than holding in-person briefings. Today’s 12,693 new COVID-19 infections took South Korea’s tally to 18,524,583, with 18 deaths for a toll of 24,661 since the pandemic began.

After holding down infections and deaths for much of the pandemic with strict tracing, tracking and quarantine measures, South Korea dropped most curbs this year despite a huge wave of Omicron-variant infections. — THE MALAY MAIL

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