On January 11, President Moon Jae-in spoke on the COVID-19 vaccine and said, “We will see to it that all citizens will be inoculated free of charge, starting with those prioritized.” He also spoke on the real estate issue and apologized for the first time saying, “It is truly regrettable,” and stressed that the government would concentrate on expanding supply. The president seemed determined to secure the drive for stable administration of state affairs through economic outcomes related to the people’s livelihoods and by overcoming COVID-19, as he enters his fifth year in office.
This day at Cheongwadae, President Moon Jae-in gave his New Year’s address titled, “People-driven Aspirations: Recovery, Inclusiveness and Resurgence” and said, “Vaccinations can start next month.”
The government secured COVID-19 vaccines for 56 million people from global pharmaceutical companies and plans to begin injecting the vaccines for free to all citizens in a prioritized order at the end of February after finalizing vaccination plans in January.
President Moon said, “The end of the dark tunnel is now finally in sight. As uncertainties have largely dissipated, we are now able to plan based on predictions and forecasts.” He also said, “This year, we will leap forward as a pace-setting nation in the new era by fully restoring daily routines and achieving a fast and strong economic recovery.”
The president further said that the South Korean economy would return to its pre-COVID-19 level in the first half of this year and added, “At the center of people’s livelihoods are jobs. The funds earmarked for creating jobs total 30.5 trillion won, a 5 trillion won increase from last year. We will intensively inject these funds in the first quarter.” He also said, “More than anything else, it is important to accomplish an inclusive recovery that eases the disparities deepened further by COVID-19,” and added, “As part of the efforts to jointly overcome the crisis, the employment and social safety nets will be strengthened further.”
The president said, “It is truly regrettable that housing-related hardships have immensely disappointed the people,” and stressed, “We will never hesitate to devise measures necessary to stabilize housing.” At the same time, he pledged, “In particular, with a focus on expanding supply, we will quickly work out various housing supply plans that can take effect immediately.” The president shared a change in the government’s real estate policy direction from “blocking real estate speculation” to “expanding supply.”
As for peace on the Korean Peninsula, the president said, “For the furvival and safety of both South and North Koreans, we have to find ways to cooperate,” and repeatedly mentioned the need for cooperation in disease prevention and health. President Moon said, “The government will strengthen the ROK-US alliance in step with the launch of the Biden administration. At the same time, we will make our final effort to achieve a major breakthrough in the stalled North Korea-US talks and inter-Korean dialogue.” He emphasized, “Our determination to meet at any time and any place and talk even in a contact-free manner remains unchanged.”
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