The Korea Herald


Yoon pledges to focus on economy, speed up reforms in 2nd year

By Shin Ji-hye

Published : May 10, 2023 - 18:20

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Presidential office building in Yongsan, Seoul (Yonhap) Presidential office building in Yongsan, Seoul (Yonhap)

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Wednesday vowed to prioritize addressing the economic crisis and improving citizens’ livelihoods during his second year in office, according to the presidential office on Wednesday.

At a luncheon held with members of the ruling People Power Party and Cabinet members to mark the completion of his first year at the presidential office, Yoon said: “Our people have not had enough time to experience change and reform over the past year,” according to his spokesperson Lee Do-woon during a press briefing in the afternoon.

Yoon used a boat on a river analogy to emphasize the need to speed up reform implementation. He said that when a boat moves too slowly, it is difficult to discern whether it’s floating or actually moving. “People can feel the change only when the speed is improved,” he said, urging his officials to work together with more energy and focus in the coming year.

He said he spent his first year correcting the course of the state’s affairs on a broad scale to reflect public sentiment during the presidential election. People wanted the new government to correct unfairness and illogical practices, he said.

“Security that relies solely on North Korea’s goodwill and anti-market labor policies are typical examples,” he said. “It takes a lot of time to rebuild what has collapsed, but I am sure Korea is moving in the right direction.”

He pledged to exert all possible efforts to promote entrepreneurship and support business growth, establish the rule of law in labor-management relations and ensure workers' safety at work sites.

Noting that South Korea is a country with limited natural resources and a relatively small market, Yoon said people can only pursue a prosperous life through hard work and effort. “We will make efforts to make responsible contributions to the international community with national prestige so that people and companies can run and operate freely in the world.”

In the morning, he visited the Seoul National Cemetery in Dongjak-gu, Seoul. He expressed his commitment to building a country of freedom, innovation and responsible contribution to global peace and prosperity in the guest book.

Later that day, Yoon visited the press room located on the first floor of the presidential office building in Seoul's Yongsan-gu, where he shook hands with reporters. He encouraged reporters to offer guidance and feedback if they believed the administration was headed in the wrong direction.

This was the third time that President Yoon had visited the press room. His previous visits took place last year, right after he assumed office on May 13 and in the aftermath of Typhoon Hinnamnor on Sept. 6.