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(LEAD) Moon opens new year with mountain hike

All News 16:59 January 01, 2018

(ATTN: ADDS more info in last 4 paras)

SEOUL, Jan. 1 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in on Monday welcomed the new year with a mountain hike with a group of six citizens picked as righteous persons for the year 2017 for their good deeds.

Moon and the citizens, including Park Jeong-hyon, hiked up Mount Bukhan, located behind the presidential office, for about three hours and watched the New Year's Day sunrise. Park was recognized for saving a woman from sexual assualt and was stabbed in the abdomen by the assailant.

They had breakfast with Moon's chief secretaries at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae afterward.

President Moon Jae-in (R) climbs Mount Bukhan on New Year's Day, 2018. (Yonhap)

After the hike, Moon gave his thoughts on the new year in a Facebook post.

"Last year, all of us were great. We rebuilt our nation and set it right," he wrote. "I look at the first sunrise of this year and harbor new wishes, that every Korean is rewarded a life they deserve, the success of the PyeongChang games and peace on the Korean Peninsula, a safe country with no disasters."

Later in the day, Moon made phonecalls to public officials, including quarantine officials combating the outbreak of bird flu, PyeongChang Olympic organizers, consuls-general stationed in Southeast Asian nations and American soldiers stationed in South Korea and thanked them for their dedication to service.

He is also scheduled to invite leaders from every social sector, including business tycoons, to his office to exchange greetings Tuesday.

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