SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook visited a traditional fish market in a western port city Wednesday to hear out the hardships of small merchants going through tough times due to the new coronavirus and encourage them ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Moon and Kim visited the Soraepo-gu Fish Market in Incheon, 40 kilometers west of Seoul, to speak directly with merchants and buy local goods, according to Cheong Wa Dae. The two purchased fresh fish and salted and dried fish products, as well as blue crabs.
The market place reopened in December after years of reconstruction, following a massive fire in March 2017 that wiped out the livelihoods of some 300 small stores and street stall owners. Moon visited the market shortly after the incident as a presidential candidate.
In his latest trip, Moon was briefed by a representative of a merchants association on the market's reconstruction process and the troubles the store owners went through.
Moon said that the government will work to help small businesses overcome the COVID-19 crisis "as the Soraepo-gu market and its merchants rose up again" from the fire disaster.
Cheong Wa Dae said the president and the first lady will provide some 100 salted fish products they bought at the market to the needy in Incheon as gifts on the occasion of the Lunar New Year holiday that begins Thursday.
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