President Moon Jae-in pointed to jobs as his administration's most important task.
He said the people need to feel real, evident changes in the employment sector this year.
"Jobs are the most important task of the government, which we cannot afford to neglect. This must be a year in which employment not only rebounds but brings about real changes that can be felt by the people."
President Moon was briefed on this year's policy goals at the Blue House on Tuesday by three ministries the Ministry of Employment and Labor, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The president, in the hope of minimizing the economic effects of the novel coronavirus, called on the government to draw up countermeasures for the industries that are most vulnerable.
"The manufacturing, tourism and service sectors, whose production processes are linked to China, are likely to be affected immediately by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The outbreak could also put a strain on employment. I ask that you consider this and be more alert in coming up with plans regarding employment and the economy."
Owing to the government's consistent efforts, President Moon noted the clear improvements in employment, both in terms of quantity and quality.
That's indicated by the number of newly employed last year surpassing 300-thousand, which is double the original goal.
The employment situation has also improved for young people, women and the elderly.
President Moon said it's up to businesses to create high-quality jobs.
He emphasized that they should create new growth engines by nurturing industries like bio-health, future cars and system semiconductors.
He added that anticipation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution could help spur employment, especially among people in their 40s.
And turning to the environment and agriculture sectors
the president said the green industry has a market size of 1.2 trillion U.S. dollars three times that of semiconductors showing the need to help Korean firms in the sector grow.
He also stressed the need to expand Korea's smart agriculture industry, while pioneering new export markets for K-food.
Park Hee-jun, Arirang News.