President Moon Jae-in called on all sides of the political aisle to work on passing the government's 440-billion U.S. dollar budget for next year, a 9.3 percent increase on-year.
Addressing the parliament, the president said his nation's trade-dependent economy is facing a critical moment amid expanding trade protectionism.
"If we don't cope well now, we will pay a greater cost in the near future. It's the reason why active fiscal policy isn't a choice but an essential action. Government finance should work as both a breakwater against external shocks and as a primer to boost the economy."
As for the backdrop of that active fiscal policy the president touted the nation's sound fiscal management.
Urging the parliament to unite its energy the president said his administration will use the remainder of its term to create an innovative, embracing and fair nation where all people can prosper.
South Korea will increase defense spending by 58-billion dollars, or 7-percent next year, with the president stressing that a "strong defense" is crucial in "self-determination."
The president, who has long championed relations with North Korea, kept his hope for a breakthrough in the nuclear talks.
Referring to what many consider a deadlock in the denuclearization process with both the North and the U.S. not making any visible actions for weeks now the president said, the relevant parties are facing the last critical hurdle.
"The Korean Peninsula is facing the last critical moment in reaching lasting peace. It's the wall of denuclearization that we have to overcome. Only dialogue can tear down that wall."
He added that South Korea and the relevant parties of the nuclear talks must do all they can for peace through dialogue perhaps sending a message to leaders Kim and Trump to resume the nuclear talks.
Calling on North Korea to respond, the president said a bright future for the regime is only possible on the basis of a "peace economy" that's driven by inter-Korean economic projects.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.