By Kim Minji
"We revive the spirit of the March First Independence Movement whenever we encounter a national crisis or disaster."
President Moon Jae-in said this on March 1 at a ceremony marking the 101st March First Independence Movement Day at Paiwha Girls' High School in Seoul's Jongno-gu District. He also emphasized the role of the movement's spirit to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and revive the ailing economy.
"We have overcome numerous hardships," he said, adding, "Last year, we could push for autonomy in (the supply of) materials, components and equipment' while pursing the goal of becoming a 'country that cannot be shaken.'" This was thanks to our potential to overcome national crises and the spirit of the March First Independence Movement."
"Even now, the people are all coming together," he said. "We can overcome the COVID-19 outbreak and revive our shrunken economy."
President Moon also commended the so-called Good Landlord Campaign that began at Hanok Village in Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do Province, and Seoul's traditional market of Moraenae, cooperation between conglomerates and small- and medium-size suppliers, and the many doctors and nurses working in isolation wards amid the COVID-19 outbreak. He said the people's support for and warmhearted donations to the people of Daegu and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province amid the outbreak show "Korea's potential."
"By overcoming the urgent COVID-19 outbreak at home and achieving peace and joint prosperity on the Korean Peninsula, we will build an unshakeable Republic of Korea," he said, adding, "That is genuine independence and completion of a new independence."
"Today's world has increasingly more factors tied to unconventional security threats such as disasters and catastrophes, climate change and the spread of infectious diseases, international terrorism and cybercrimes," he said. "Due to the global spread of COVID-19, we have keenly realized again the necessity of cross-border cooperation."
President Moon underscored the nation's inheritance of the spirit of both the movement and the Republic of Korea's Provisional Government, pledging to respond to unconventional security threats by strengthening cooperation with North Korea, Japan, China and nearby East Asian countries.
To highlight the spirit of unity for mutual understanding and sympathy, the March First Declaration of Independence was read in English by Darcy Paquet, who translated the English-language subtitles for the Oscar-winning film "Parasite," Japanese by Sejong University professor Yuji Hosaka, Chinese by naturalized police corporal Jo Kye-hwa, Russian by Tsoy Illya, a descendant of pro-independence fighter Choi Jae-hyung, and sign language by interpreter Lee Hyun-hwa.
The full text of President Moon's speech is available in the link below: