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Aug. 17 designated as temporary holiday, creating one-off long weekend

President Moon Jae-in speaks at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in speaks at the Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

Aug. 17 has been designated as a temporary holiday, creating a one-off long weekend from Aug. 15 through Aug. 17, the government said Tuesday.

The Cabinet approved the holiday plan in light of Liberation Day falling on Saturday and a growing public fatigue from the drawn-out fight against the COVID-19 outbreak.

“We hope to give a short, but precious rest time to people tired from battling the coronavirus,” President Moon Jae-in said at the weekly meeting.

Under the Regulations Holidays of Government Offices, the government has the authority to designate one-off holidays when deemed necessary, usually when a public holiday falls on the weekend.

At the meeting, where a number of other issues were handled, Moon stressed that the Korean New Deal embodies his administration’s intent to shift the “axis of development” away from Seoul, and that he will hold a meeting with heads of local governments on the matter.

“The Korean New Deal embodies the will to change the axis of national development from the capital region to the provinces,” Moon said.

The Korean New Deal is a government-led project that seeks to boost the country’s environment- and data-related industries over the course of several years, and to create some 1.9 million jobs.

“The Korean New Deal will be the stepping stone for economic recovery, and in the mid- to long-term it will raise balanced national development to a new level.”

Saying that core projects of the Korean New Deal will become “symbols of change,” Moon said the plans are closely linked to his administration’s drive to address the development imbalance between the capital area – Seoul and surrounding regions – and the provinces.

“For the success of the Korean New Deal, the government will strengthen communications with local governments and establish a cooperation system between central and local governments,” Moon said, adding that he will hold a meeting with the heads of local governments to discuss related issues.

The Cabinet on Tuesday approved a revision to regulations on disciplinary action for civil servants. The change removes the professional performance of a civil servant facing disciplinary action from the list of factors a disciplinary committee takes into account in deciding penalties.

By Choi He-suk (