President Moon Jae-in is standing by his administration's economic policies of growth led by rising incomes and innovation.
During his first press conference marking the start of his third year in office, the president focused on the economy with the aim of getting tangible results, adding that his administration is taking the situation very seriously.
"This year's objective is to make the people feel in their own lives that the government's economic policy is heading in the right direction. And to that end, tangible outcomes must be produced."
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He added that if necessary, his administration is willing to make changes in order to build an innovative and inclusive nation.
The president's income-driven growth policy, aimed at boosting growth by raising household incomes, has so far come up short.
Raising the minimum wage by double-digit percentages and shortening the work week prompted some small businesses to let go of their part-timers and hampered job growth.
Speaking of jobs, the president promised to improve the quality of employment in the new year as he himself acknowledged that the jobs numbers failed to meet the public's expectations.
Korea's unemployment rate came in at 3.8 percent last year, the highest since 2001 when the figure was at 4-percent.
To help support the country's economy, President Moon called for innovation to revitalize Korea's industries and nurture new sectors.
And the policy of innovative growth, the president said, is linked with the peace drive on the Korean Peninsula.
"Inter-Korean economic cooperation will bring new vitality to our economy. And this opportunity is ours only. I'm not sure when we will make use of this opportunity, but I think it is a blessing reserved for us."
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And to that end, the president added that Seoul is willing to reopen the joint inter-Korean factory park in the North Korean city of Gaeseong, as well as tours to the North's Geumgangsan mountain as part of the two sides' joint economic projects.
Ko Roon-hee, Arirang News.