Former South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants to give up custody of two dogs donated by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un due to lack of government financial support, his office said Monday.
The Pungsan pedigree dogs, a male named Songkang and a female named Gomi, were sent to Moon Jae-in by the North Korean leader as a gift after their third summit in Pyongyang in September 2018, as a token of their speedy diplomatic rapprochement. ‘then.
Songkang and Gomi gave birth to seven puppies during the presidency of Moon Jae-in, who took the couple and a pup to his private residence after his term ended in May this year.
Presidential office’s objection to government aid
Under current law, the dogs are legally state property that must be turned over to the presidential archives, but an agreement was signed to hand over the three dogs to Moon Jae-in on the last day of his term, he said. explained his office in a statement.
The deal included a provision for government assistance to cover dog-sitting costs, totaling 2.5 million won (about $1,790) per month, according to local reports. But a spokesman for the former head of state said it was not implemented due to an objection from his successor Yoon Suk-yeol’s presidential office, adding that Moon Jae -in was willing to give up custody of his dogs.
“In view of the progress made so far, the presidential office appears to be unfavorable to the idea of handing over the management of the Pungsan dogs to former President Moon,” his office said in a statement.
“If so, we can be candid about it,” he said, adding that Moon was ready to end his custody if the government came up with a better management plan.
Public opinion stir
The presidential office denied the claims of Moon Jae-in’s office, saying discussions between relevant ministries were still ongoing.
The fate of the Pungsan dogs has sparked public outrage, with netizens asking to take them in.
“Dogs are a family. How can they be sent away just for money?” denounces a user. Another comments: “As someone who has a dog, I find it hard to come to terms with this idea. If I could, I would take the dogs.”
Known for their loyalty and intelligence, the Pungsan breed — a hunting dog with a thick creamy-white coat, pointy ears and hazel eyes — hails from the region of the same name in North Korea.
Original article published on BFMTV.com