President Moon Jae-in speaks during a Cabinet meeting at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in stressed the urgency Tuesday of containing COVID-19, stabilizing the housing market and recovering the economy in the new year.
"(We) start the new year with a heavy sense of responsibility," he said at the outset of the first Cabinet meeting of 2021.
South Korea's top priority this year is "to get out of the long tunnel of the coronavirus as soon as possible," he emphasized.
He described the country as standing at another watershed in its antivirus fight before the supply of vaccines begins in February.
"Housing market stability is also a crucial policy task for people's lives," the president pointed out.
The government won't hesitate to map out additional measures to curb hikes in home prices and rent, especially with a focus on exploring "innovative and various" ways to expand supply, he added.
Many agree that Moon's falling job approval ratings in recent months are mainly attributable to a resurgence in coronavirus cases and a failure to stabilize the home market.
Moon said the nation should pull off a "speedy and strong economic recovery" as well and move toward a longer-term goal of becoming a "leading country."
Outlining key policy tasks in his fifth year in office during his brief public opening remarks at the Cabinet session, Moon did not mention other crucial issues, such as prosecution reform and inter-Korean relations. (Yonhap)