The Korean government is urging officials to carefully manage the various risks the nation is facing, at home and abroad, to make sure they don't get out of hand.
At a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said that the government has set out specific areas that need to be watched and managed by relevant ministries during the second year of the Moon Jae-in administration.
Last year, when the Moon administration began, it set out 50 such areas.
The prime minister cited, for instance, the recent "waste chaos" in the country -- where recycling collectors refused to take plastic bags and plastic bottles after China decided to stop importing waste from other countries.
He said it's an example of what happens when action is not taken at the right time.
"China made its decision after we set our policy risks. It would have been good if we had then added the waste issue to our list and taken care of it. At the time, we were unable to assess what impact it would have on us. It's a globalized era now. And it's not just economic decisions that have an impact locally -- natural or social disasters can affect us, too. Each ministry needs to thoroughly study these external factors."
And with local elections now less than two months away, the prime minister called on local governments to come up with measures to avoid a vacuum in administrative affairs when positions change hands.
He said there are concerns that important policies or projects could be canceled or put on hold until after the elections.
"Local governments mainly carry out work that's directly related to people's lives. So if there is a snag in operations, the damage done is to the people's livelihoods. Especially when it comes to jobs policies, or support for regions hit by corporate restructuring -- things that need to be handled quickly -- the blow will be even greater."
The prime minister called on relevant ministries to keep close tabs on local governments so that they can smoothly carry out important policies and prevent any operational slip-ups.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.