Korean Pres vows to focus on jobs and innovations this year in New Year’s address

2019.01.10 16:00:44 | 2019.01.10 16:01:18

[Photo by Kim Jae-hoon]이미지 확대

[Photo by Kim Jae-hoon]

Addressing job crisis through innovation growth would be the government’s top priority for 2019, said South Korean President Moon Jae-in Thursday in his New Year press conference.

“The sluggishness in employment data was the biggest pain (in his 20 months in office),” Moon said in a televised press conference vowing to prove to the people that the economic policies had been right through tangible improvements in livelihoods and economy.

“Over the long term, the portion of corporate income against GDP continued to grow faster than the overall economic growth rate, but household income bucked the trend, causing severer wealth polarization and income inequality than any other countries in the world,” he said.

The government will find solutions to the problems through people-focused and inclusive policies.

Under this policy, real household income was raised in general and required costs of living such as medical care, childcare and telephone bills reduced last year, he explained.

There were many positive results in income-led growth and fair economy policy, but employment figures failed to meet expectations, he said.

The income-led growth policy such as hike in minimum wage by double digits for two straight years has hurt jobs, and the government will find breakthrough through innovation promotion, he expounded devoting the largest portion of 126-minute conference on economy themes.

On other affairs, Moon expected North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to visit Seoul after he holds a second summit talks with U.S. President Donald Trump.

He stressed the need for North Korea to take more concrete and faster denuclearization steps while also highlighting the importance of corresponding measures by the international community to further accelerate the denuclearization process.

He criticized Tokyo for politicizing the South Korean court orders demanding compensations by Japanese companies to forced Korean workers for unpaid and underpaid wages during colonization period,.

By Park Yong-beom and Minu Kim

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