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President-elect Yoon vows to 'trust, follow will of people'

President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol gives a speech at the National Assembly on Thursday. (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol gives a speech at the National Assembly on Thursday. (Yonhap)
President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol said Thursday he will trust and follow the will of the people as he vowed to close any national divisions.

"I will solely trust the people and follow the people's will," Yoon said in his remarks given at the National Assembly Library in western Seoul.

"(The election results) constitute a call for reform, and the restoration of justice and common sense as well as the people's desperate appeal to do politics of unity, not division," Yoon noted.

Yoon was elected as president earlier in the day with the smallest ever 0.73 percentage-point gap over liberal rival Lee Jae-myung.

"It is a stern order to make a nation with new hopes ... and I will never forget such a call from the people."

On North Korea, Yoon said he will "sternly" respond to any illegal or unreasonable behavior by the country "in accordance with principles," but the window of conversation with Pyongyang will "be always left open."

Yoon vowed to build a bilateral relationship of "mutual respect" with China while pledging to work for "a forward-looking relationship" with Japan.

Regarding the economy, the president-elect promised to turn away from a government-led economy toward a human-oriented one so as to create jobs and beef up the middle class.

"I will keep away from any forces or ideologies that threaten the free democracy and adhere to the common sense of the people in running the nation," he noted, also pledging political cooperation with opposition parties. (Yonhap)

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