|President Yoon Suk-yeol speaks at the 19th Emergency Meeting on Economic Affairs for Examining Economic Promotion Strategies held in his office on Seoul on Aug. 31, 2023./ Source: Yonhap News
AsiaToday reporter Hong Sun-mi
President Yoon Suk-yeol said Thursday the government will designate Oct. 2 a temporary holiday.
Yoon made the remark while presiding over a regular meeting on the economy and public livelihood issues, saying the government needs to vitalize domestic tourism and boost domestic demand.
This year’s Chuseok fall harvest holiday will run from Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, while Koreans celebrate National Foundation Day, another public holiday, on Oct. 3. It means the temporary holiday will bridge the Chuseok and National Foundation Day for a six-day break.
The designation bill is likely to be reviewed and passed at next week’s Cabinet meeting presided over by Prime Minister Han Duk-soo on Tuesday.
“The government’s policy in the second half of the year is aimed at stabilizing the people’s livelihoods,” Yoon said. “We need to work hard to strengthen our stance of stabilizing prices, ease the difficulties of the people and the weak, and revitalize the domestic economy.”
Yoon pledged to support the local fisheries industry in the wake of “fake news and false instigation” about the potential harmful effects of radioactive water released from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant. “We will respond actively to groundless myths and instigation and draw up an additional 80 billion won in reserve funds before the end of the year to promote the consumption of local seafood,” he said.
“Discounts of up to 60 percent will be offered on key fishery products while seafood purchases will be made cheaper and more convenient online and at traditional markets through the use of coupons,” he said.
The president said the government will do its best to lower the prices of goods in high demand during Chuseok by at least 5 percent on-year so that people can enjoy a plentiful holiday.
“We will increase the supply of goods by the largest volume yet, and provide 67 billion won (US$50.7 million) worth of discounts on agricultural, fishery and livestock goods to help stabilize their supply, demand and prices,” he said.
The government will also seek to expand international flights, simplify immigration procedures and increase mobile transaction compatibility in a bid to attract more foreign tourists.