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Moon visits Namdaemun Market amid coronavirus woes

All News 15:08 February 12, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in toured Namdaemun Market in central Seoul Wednesday, his second visit to a local traditional market in three days, as concern is mounting about the impact of coronavirus on the economy.

Moon's "on-site economy-related" activities are meant to encourage merchants, who are suffering difficulties due to the viral outbreak, and to demonstrate the government's commitment to all-out efforts to revitalize the economy, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

Strolling across the market, the president met with vendors and shared worries with them about a sharp reduction in the number of customers.

"There's no one going around. It seems like sales have dropped to a third," a fish cake vendor told Moon.

Pesident Moon Jae-in talks with a rice cake vendor at the Namdaemun Market in Seoul on Feb. 12, 2020. (Yonhap)

Namdaemun Market is not just a hot place for Koreans but also one of the most popular tourist attractions in Seoul.

Last year, it drew around 4 million foreign travelers. Recently, however, the number of foreign visitors has plunged due to the spread of the virus that originated in China.

Moon then had a luncheon meeting with several vendors. "Anyway, the government will do its best to support traditional markets, small shop owners and other self-employed people."

"The situations (related to the virus) will soon calm down. Let's overcome (the trouble) all together," Moon said.

He visited the Onyang traditional market in Asan, about 90 kilometers south of Seoul, on the weekend after looking around a quarantine facility there for South Koreans who have been brought back from the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

lcd@yna.co.kr
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