By Xu Aiying and Yoon Sojung
President Moon Jae-in on July 24 pledged his administration's steadfast responsibility and efforts for protecting the lives and safety of ethnic Koreans abroad undergoing difficulty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said this in a videoconference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Seoul with such people in the Chinese city of Wuhan, India, New York, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.
Mentioning the heartfelt support Korea received from ethnic Koreans abroad when the nation was experiencing hardship due to the pandemic, the president said, "The spirit of solidarity and cooperation demonstrated by all of you is inspirational not only to Koreans but also to people around the world."
"Now it is the nation's turn to repay your efforts," he said. "We have a duty to protect the lives and safety of our citizens and of ethnic Koreans abroad."
"The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating economic hardships and security situations in many countries," the president added, saying he has repeatedly urged Korean embassies and their staff to "double their efforts to take better care of Koreans overseas."
"The international community is now taking note of our exemplary epidemic prevention and control measures and trying to learn from us," he said, adding, "Korea is being asked to participate in major international meetings."
"This can all be attributed to our people and overseas Koreans who have practiced solidarity and cooperation while protecting their safety and that of their neighbors."