Yoon pledges economic recovery in New Year’s address

Jan 02, 2024, 08:47 am

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President Yoon Suk-yeol delivers his New Year’s speech at the presidential office in Seoul on Jan. 1, 2024./ Courtesy of presidential office

By AsiaToday reporter Park Ji-eun

President Yoon Suk-yeol has laid out his plans for the year 2024, pledging to join in the field and listen to people’s voices, even the smallest ones, and pursue policies that will change people’s everyday lives.

In a nationally-televised New Year’s address on Monday, President Yoon Suk-yeol stressed that his government will be an “action-oriented and problem-solving,” rather than the one that just carries out reviews. 

As President Yoon focused on people’s livelihood in his address, the word “people’s livelihood” was referred to 9 times in the speech. In addition, Yoon frequently mentioned words “people,” “economy,” “reform,” “industry,” “recovery,” and “jobs,” indicating his government’s willingness to focus on people’s livelihood and the economy.

“High interest rates, inflation, gas prices hindered economic recovery,” Yoon said. “Whenever I saw and heard the people’s hardships on the field, I was left with a profound sense of responsibility as President. I always felt sorry.”

Political observers say that the New Year’s address showed a significant change in the Yoon administration’s stance from “ideology-oriented” to “people-oriented.” Since Yoon-backed candidate’s defeat in a by-election for the head of Gangseo District Office in October last year, Yoon has made a major shift in state administration by putting top priority on improving people’s livelihood and making on-site visits. He has been ordering his staff and Cabinet members to thoroughly examine people’s livelihood and come up with measures to improve the situation preemptively.

“The government will do its best to make sure that the warmth of economic recovery is felt by those who are vulnerable and socially disadvantaged,” Yoon said, promising the government’s efforts to ease the financial burden on small business owners and self-employed, thoroughly manage risks that could threaten the economy such as real estate project financing and household debt, increase housing supply, and abolish killer regulations. His remarks suggest that the government will focus on breaking down the problems that hinder economic growth and business investment.

“Through the economic and sales diplomacy, our foreign policy has focused on creating jobs for Koreans,” he said. “Since taking office, I have had 151 meetings with 96 heads of state. I enlarged the playing field for our businesses and people to realize their full potential.”

As a response to North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, President Yoon said, “We will accelerate our efforts to build a stronger ROK 3K Defense System to defend against North Korean nuclear and missile threats. Our military will be transformed into a powerful force based on cutting-edge science and technology including AI, and the Manned-Unmanned Teaming System.”

#Yoon Suk-yeol #New Years address 
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