South Korea President Yoon Suk Yeol vows to improve country’s economy

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South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday admitted that his government’s attempts to improve people’s lives have not yielded positive results.

In his first news conference for 21 months, Yoon said that a crushing election defeat for his ruling party last month reflected how voters viewed his two years in office.

There has been a lack of communication with the people to explain the government policies and efforts.

Yoon, who narrowly won the presidency in 2022, now faces approval ratings as low as 21%.

He has also promised new policies to revive the economy. He has further promised to tackle issues such as the country’s rock-bottom birth rate.

Already the world’s lowest, South Korea’s fertility rate sank again last year, with women citing factors like the cost of childcare for not having kids.

“I would like to share that we are establishing a new government agency to respond to the low birthrate and assigning it to work as a control tower. This low birthrate issue is not something we can take time with as it is a national crisis,” he added.

Yoon also apologised for the first time over the controversy surrounding his wife’s acceptance of an expensive gift in 2022, calling her behavior ‘unwise’.

On foreign policy, he maintained South Korea’s stance against supplying weapons to conflict zones, including Ukraine.

Despite being a major military exporter, South Korea avoids providing more than humanitarian aid to Ukraine, to avoid upsetting Russia.

Yoon said Moscow had been a good partner for the country.