NATIONAL

Moon highlights peace in New Year’s message

By Choi He-suk
  • Published : Jan 1, 2019 - 16:33
  • Updated : Jan 1, 2019 - 16:33

President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday vowed to establish “irreversible peace” on the Korean Peninsula and to improve quality of life for the Korean people.

“(I) will make peace irreversible so that peace can be of help to the lives of each and every one,” Moon said in a New Year’s message that he posted on social media, saying it was the people who had cleared the path toward peace that he had followed. 

President Moon Jae-in addresses the people gathered to see the sunrise on Namsan in Seoul on Tuesday. Cheong Wa Dae

Acknowledging the people’s wish for a better quality of life for everyone, Moon went on to say that he would work on the issues that remained unaddressed in order to improve the lives of the public.

Moon opened the year by hiking up Namsan, a mountain in central Seoul, with his aides and six civilians who were being commended for acts of bravery and kindness in 2018.

“This year is said to be the Year of the Golden Pig. The golden pig is a symbol of abundance and prosperity. I hope your families, workplaces and corporations and the country are filled with abundance and fortune,” Moon was quoted as saying during the hike.

Moon also held telephone conversations with selected members of the public later in the day.

The president’s emphasis on the economy and on improved communication with the public in his first remarks of the year echoed his words at Monday’s meeting with ruling Democratic Party leaders.

At that meeting, Moon said the government must communicate more effectively when reaching out to the public about its economic policies.

He told the party leaders it was regrettable that their achievements were not being accurately conveyed to the public and that the theme of “economic failure” falsely held sway in society. The true effects of the minimum wage increase and the shorter maximum work hours, he added, would become clearer in 2019.

He also said the media had highlighted only the negative economic indicators and that the government and the party needed to do a better job of countering the false narrative.

By Choi He-suk (cheesuk@heraldcorp.com)