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Yoon interacts with public for 1st time since election defeat

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : May 10, 2024 - 20:04

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President Yoon Suk Yeol (right) is seen surrounded by a crowd on a street near the Cheeonggyecheon in Seoul on Friday. (Presidential Office) President Yoon Suk Yeol (right) is seen surrounded by a crowd on a street near the Cheeonggyecheon in Seoul on Friday. (Presidential Office)

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Friday interacted directly with the public for the first time in a month since the ruling bloc's general election defeat in April.

Yoon visited a Korean restaurant in Jung-gu, Seoul, with his aides to interact with the South Korean citizens during lunchtime. The president had lunch there and discussed the soaring price of dining out, according to spokesperson Kim Soo-kyung.

After lunch, Yoon spent time at the Cheonggyecheon, a stream that runs through central Seoul. There, Yoon told the crowd that his government would "do its best to control consumer prices," when he heard one of the people there said the level of inflation posed challenges to people's livelihoods, Kim said in a statement.

Yoon then moved on to visit Dongnimmun Yeongcheon Market. At around 2 p.m., he toured the traditional market and stopped by stores selling meat, fish and other groceries.

There, Yoon briefly discussed the soaring commission fees for cash vouchers with one of the vendors in the market. Yoon immediately ordered Park Chun-sup, the senior secretary for economic affairs who accompanied Yoon on the tour, to fix the problem.

According to the spokesperson, Yoon took selfies with people in the market and gave them high-fives.

Yoon frequently engaged with citizens for a few months until the ruling People Power Party suffered a crushing defeat in the April 10 general election.

Later on Friday, Yoon briefly met members of the presidential office press corps dispatched to his office.

Friday also marked Yoon's second anniversary in his office.

A Gallup Korea poll showed on the same day that Yoon's approval rating fell to 24 percent, the lowest among all democratically elected presidents in South Korea in their second year in office.