(LEAD) Presidential office slams Moon administration as ‘deceptive government’ for data manipulation

The office of President Yoon Suk Yeol on Sunday slammed the preceding Moon Jae-in administration as a “deceptive government” after a state audit agency said the previous administration manipulated various economic data to support its key economic and real estate policies.

On Friday, the Board of Audit and Inspection (BAI) disclosed the findings of a six-month investigation and formally requested the prosecution to investigate 22 former government officials, including all four former presidential chiefs of staff for policy.

“It was a deceptive government that even manipulated statistics,” a senior presidential official told Yonhap News Agency by phone. “We should deal sternly with the accounting manipulation case of the Moon Jae-in government and set things straight.”

Unless the wrongdoing is corrected, the current government would end up being an accomplice, the official said.

The BAI concluded that during the Moon administration, the presidential office and the land ministry exerted undue pressure on agencies responsible for statistics, compelling them to manipulate official data on income, employment and housing prices.

Officials of the Moon administration rejected the BAI’s findings as fabricated.

On Sunday, Moon shared a recently published report from the Korea Labor and Society Institute that South Korea’s employment rate reached record highs of 60.8 percent in 2017, 60.9 percent in 2018 and 62.1 percent in 2022.

The Facebook post was seen as a rebuttal of the BAI findings.

Source: Yonhap News Agency