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Moon's new chief policy secretary says he will focus on job creation, income growth

The new chief policy secretary of President Moon Jae-in has said he will spare no efforts to create more jobs and improve incomes, as South Korea's economy has shown signs of slowing growth on faltering exports and investment.


Kim Sang-jo, former chairman of the Korea Fair Trade Commission who was known for actively campaigning against the wrongdoings of family-run business conglomerates, or chaebol, before taking the public job, was named to the post on Friday.

"Policy efforts will be focused on improving jobs and incomes," Kim told reporters on Friday.

Many analysts said the reshuffle is unlikely to bring a significant change in the government's key economic policies, but Kim said he will show "sufficient flexibility" by adjusting the priorities of economic policies.

South Korea's economy remains gripped by stubbornly sluggish domestic demand and flagging exports stemming from a worsening trade dispute between the United States and China.

In the first quarter of the year, the economy contracted 0.4 percent from three months earlier, the worst in a decade.

As he entered his third year in office this year, Moon called for efforts to produce visible economic achievements, but the economic data remain gloomy.

Moon is pursuing his signature income-driven growth policy, which is aimed at spurring growth by increasing household income and consumption.

But the job market remains tepid amid economic uncertainty and steep hikes in the minimum wage.

To help prop up the economy, the government drafted an extra budget in April, but the budget bill is stilling pending at the National Assembly amid a political dispute.

Kim said he will meet with lawmakers from both ruling and opposition parties at any time.

Kim was a renowned civic activist for his minority shareholder movement and dubbed a "sniper" of chaebol.

Asked whether he would meet with chaebol tycoons, Kim replied, "I will meet with anybody and listen if they want." (Yonhap)