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President Roh Gives New Year’s Speech

Posted January. 19, 2006 03:12,   


President Roh Moo-hyun said yesterday, “Considering that the growing gap between the rich and the poor has caused social conflicts and splits, Korea should come up with measures for resolving this issue for its future,” adding, “The best solution to this matter is creating a slew of good jobs.”

In a televised new year’s speech at the Baek Beom Memorial in Hyochang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, yesterday night, President Roh said, “Korean society should be one that thinks responsibly and acts in a bid to resolve pending issues and its future problems.”

In his speech titled, “Prepare for the future with a responsible attitude,” the president explained the reason why the gap between the rich and the poor has increased and the current situation. The president then stressed, “It is necessary to stabilize the economy, create new jobs and, foster small- and medium-sized enterprises and the service industry in order to solve this problem.”

In particular, regarding the issue of non-regular workers, the president said, “The pending bill on non-regular workers protection should be passed quickly in order to resolve the issue,” adding, “The economic sector and labor sector should compromise with each other to pass the bill.”

With this, after expressing his administration’s will to curb real estate speculation and to reduce the growing private tutoring expenses, the president mentioned measures on social safety nets for underprivileged people including low-income brackets and measures to resolve low birth rates and aging-society issues.

The president continued, “In a bid to resolve pending social issues, Korean society needs a mutually beneficial determination in addition to facing up to reality with new thoughts,” promising that the government would make itself a competitive bureaucratic society through government innovation in an attempt to cope with state affairs more responsibly.

“This speech is not a specific proposal,” said a Cheong Wa Dae official. “The president said the government’s rough plans in principle, and urged people from various circles to make a responsible decision.”

President Roh is scheduled to hold a press conference that will be attended by local and international reporters in order to express his stance on key social issues at Cheong Wa Dae on January 25.

Meanwhile, the president separately plans to announce measures on the country’s future problems, including the national pension, low birth rate, and aging-society issues, around February 25, marking the third anniversary of his inauguration.

Yeon-Wook Jung jyw11@donga.com