|President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers gifts for the Lunar New Year holidays to a group of elderly people during a visit to an unregistered community center for senior citizens in Seoul’s Gangbuk Ward on Feb. 7, 2024./ Source: Presidential Office
AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi
President Yoon Suk-yeol visited a community center for senior citizens Wednesday ahead of Lunar New Year holiday and vowed to provide support for unregistered senior community centers, including emergency government funding for heating.
He promised the senior citizens he would work to ensure they have health and comfortable lives, saying, “We cannot leave them be uncomfortable in an unregistered community center which is practically impossible to be eligible for registration.”
“I didn’t know there were so many unregistered senior community centers that are not eligible for registration and government assistance,” Yoon said. “The purpose of the registration criteria was to help seniors stay healthy and comfortable.”
“We will comprehensively check the status of unregistered senior citizens’ community centers,” Yoon said, promising, “We will carefully examine the system and first pay for heating so that senior citizens are able stay warm in winter.”
When an elderly man asked Yoon if he had to leave because he must be busy managing state affairs, Yoon answered, “Taking care of elderly is also important thing in managing state affairs.”
Yoon asked the elderly about their health and safety, checked if there was any danger of fire, and shared the prepared rice cakes and tangerines.
Before leaving the community center, the president held the elderly’s hands and greeted them, and delivered gifts for the Lunar New Year holiday consisting of ritual wine, citron syrup, pine nuts, and beef jerky.
The facility that Yoon visited on Wednesday is not registered as a community center since it is below the standard. Under current laws, a community center is required to have at least 20 members, separate bathrooms for men and women, spaces for joint use and a living room of at least 20 square meters. Unregistered community centers are not provided with air-conditioning and heating funds from the government.