New Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum said on his first day of work that the nation would have new social distancing rules from July if the coronavirus situation stabilizes.
Kim, who took office Friday, presided over a meeting of the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasures Headquarters held at the Seoul Government Complex.
“We will do our best to ensure that more than 13 million people complete their first vaccinations without a hitch in the first half,” Kim said.
He added that the government would prevent the spread of infections by supporting and encouraging quarantine rules in the field rather than the current method of mechanically raising social distancing levels and restricting businesses.
If the pandemic stabilizes by the first half of the year, “We will switch to a new distancing system from July so that we can take a step closer to quarantine and daily harmony,” he added.
Earlier on Thursday, the National Assembly passed a motion to appoint Prime Minister Kim with 168 votes in favor, 5 against, 1 abstention and 2 invalid votes. President Moon Jae-in approved the appointment at 7 a.m. on Friday. His predecessor, Chung Sye-kyun, stepped down last month to prepare to run in next year’s presidential election.
He told reporters on his way to work that “I know that the fight against the infectious disease, COVID-19, is hard and many people are tired. I think we should go back to the spirit of all coming together to find the original state of Korea.”
Kim stressed “integration,” saying, “If we had an atmosphere that we (solve problems) with each other’s own strength in the course of this difficult fight, we should be together now.”
“This difficulty can only be overcome if we are all together. In that sense, I will become a Prime Minister who aims to integrate thoroughly.”
By Shin Ji-hye (email@example.com