By Yoon Sojung
Photos = Cheong Wa Dae
President Moon Jae-in on Jan. 10 emphasized his administration’s goals of achieving an "innovative, inclusive nation" and peace to create an economy in which everyone can prosper together.
Aired live on TV and social media channels from 10 a.m., the New Year's news conference featured an opening speech by the president and a Q&A session for both Korean and foreign journalists in the format of a town hall meeting. His exchanges with reporters grew heated, with the session lasting more than 90 minutes, or ten minutes longer than scheduled.
In his opening speech, President Moon said, "We will achieve the goal of an innovative, inclusive nation by all means while sufficiently making up for any shortcomings."
"This year’s objective is to make the people clearly see signs in their own lives that the government’s economic policy is heading in the right direction. To that end, tangible outcomes must be produced."
He added, "Innovation will help revive existing industries and foster new industries that will become new growth engines."
On the economy, President Moon announced plans to revive traditional industries such as cars, shipbuilding and petrochemicals through innovation and provide a combined budget of KRW 1.5 trillion for the three key fields of big data, artificial intelligence and hydrogen.
He also pledged to foster innovative sectors through investment of KRW 3.6 trillion in eight pace-setting projects for innovative growth including smart factories and cities, self-driving cars and drones.
Along with his innovative growth policy, President Moon highlighted inclusive growth and stressed the role of social safety nets to allow everyone to jointly benefit from such growth.
To bolster the protection of social welfare and employment, he announced plans to expand unemployment assistance for low-income families, increase the monthly basic pension and that for people with disabilities, and support the elderly.
On inter-Korean relations, President Moon underscored the importance of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula as another policy goal.
Mentioning the progress made in relations with North Korea last year, he said, "The second North Korea-United States summit -- to take place soon, and a reciprocal visit to Seoul by Chairman Kim Jong Un of North Korea will be other turning points that will firmly solidify peace on the Korean Peninsula."
"We will not loosen our guard until the promise to denuclearize the Peninsula is kept and peace is fully institutionalized."
On 2019 being the centennial anniversary of the March First Independence Movement of 1919 and the establishment of the Korean government in exile, President Moon said, "Before long, permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula and an innovative, inclusive nation where everyone prospers will arrive before us."
"We have come so far without losing sight of our common goal. We have achieved much in the cold. We will accomplish it all: peace, innovative growth and an inclusive nation as well."
The full text of the speech is available in the link below: