SEOUL, April 4 (Yonhap) -- Last month, the presidential spokesman made an announcement on camera that took some reporters by surprise -- President Park Geun-hye was planning to attend a memorial service in the central city of Daejeon in four days time.
When the presidential office informs the press of the president's scheduled public appearances, it always requests an "embargo" on related reports, in principle, until after the event is over and the president has returned safely to her office. This is done to minimize the risk of any surprise attacks on the president's life.
But by speaking on camera, the spokesman effectively exposed the president's whereabouts to the public in advance.
Following his announcement, the Presidential Security Service (PSS) expressed its displeasure to the presidential secretaries' office and adjusted the president's route to Daejeon, according to a PSS official. It also sent additional security personnel to the venue and tightened security checks on other attendees.
Many other aspects of the president's life are also banned from being reported in the press, according to the PSS.
These include the locations of the presidential jet and the cars the president rides in, as well as the exact locations of the president's office and residence within the presidential compound Cheong Wa Dae.
"Cheong Wa Dae is the last bastion for the president's smooth running of state affairs," said the official. "The Presidential Security Service blocks anything that may cause harm to facilities and people (inside Cheong Wa Dae) through various human and physical security measures and safety controls."
In the case of the presidential jet, the press cannot report on which parking ramp it uses or which airport it is serviced at due to concerns someone may try to interfere with the aircraft's maintenance with the intention of harming the president.
The PSS is also apparently uncomfortable with the fact that the president's doctor was recently introduced in the press, as this exposes another person with close access to the president.
Park, who was inaugurated in late February, has upgraded the status of the PSS and designated its chief as a minister-level official.
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