By Lee Kyoung Mi and Yoon Sojung
President Moon Jae-in on Oct. 28 said, "The Republic of Korea is proving itself to the world as a country with strong resilience in the face of crisis."
In a speech to the National Assembly in Seoul on next year's government budget, he said, "Since the modern age, we have never experienced a situation when the entire world is faced with an economic crisis due to an infectious disease," adding, "We are becoming the most successful country in terms of managing both the economy and epidemic prevention and control."
"All of the credit should go to the great people of Korea who, especially in a time of crisis, unite more firmly and pool their strengths."
He added, "Korea’s response to COVID-19 has become a model for the whole world and the pride of the Republic of Korea."
"'Openness,' 'transparency,' and 'democracy,' the core values of democratic countries, have served as the three principles of epidemic prevention and control," the president said. "All of the people have become the principal agents in our pandemic response efforts."
He added, "On the economic front, Korea is also drawing global attention for its miraculous performance."
"Korea’s successful response to COVID-19 – without border closures or regional lockdowns – has led to our success with the economy. Backed by effective economic countermeasures such as the Government’s aggressive fiscal policy and the Korean New Deal initiative, Korea is seen as the country that is reviving its economy faster than any other nation."
President Moon also mentioned high international trust in the Korean economy, as the country led the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in economic growth and received a stable outlook from international credit rating agencies.
He said his administration set the 2021 budget at KRW 555.8 trillion for next year, pledging to "lead the world by succeeding in both of these efforts and by turning crises into opportunities."
The chief executive also presented the country's direction next year while quickly overcoming the crisis so that Korea emerges as a leading country.
Switching to talk of his ambitious project, President Moon said his administration "will vigorously push ahead with the Korean New Deal comprising the Digital and Green New Deals."
"We will make bold investments in future growth engines," he said, mentioning hydrogen- and electric-powered vehicles and bio health as promising industries.
Expressing his commitment to public safety, a strong national defense and peace, he also pledged to expand the quarantine budget and achieve denuclearization and a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.