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Moon indicates some policy changes, seeking new start following election rout

All News 15:40 April 19, 2021

SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in openly indicated Monday that he would make adjustments to some of his policies criticized by many people, as he is striving to win back public support in his final months in office.

Moon's leadership has been undermined by the ruling Democratic Party's crushing defeat in the April 7 by-elections to pick the new Seoul and Busan mayors. The latest poll was widely seen as a referendum on his presidency and reform drive. Moon has described the election rout as a "reprimand" from the public.

"I will consider the reprimand from the people as a bitter medicine, look back on the overall state affairs and use it as a turning point for a fresh start," he said during a weekly meeting with his senior Cheong Wa Dae aides.

He vowed to "make up for what's deficient (in terms of policy) and fix it," while further developing the accomplishments so far of his liberal administration.

President Moon Jae-in speaks during a meeting with senior secretaries at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on April 19, 2021. (Yonhap)

The president, in particular, called for the establishment of a "special system for cooperation" with the Seoul and Busan city governments led by newly elected mayors.

He pointed out the urgency of bringing COVID-19 under control and stabilizing the property market.

Voters' fury over the government's real estate policy failure was among the main factors behind the Democratic Party's first major election defeat in years.

Moon also called on Cheong Wa Dae to push for more "communication and cooperation" with opposition parties, not just the ruling party.

He then talked about a plan to hold his first in-person summit talks with U.S. President Joe Biden in Washington D.C. in late May. An exact date has yet to be announced.

Moon said he would use the summit for momentum in efforts to revitalize the stalled Korea peace process and strengthen cooperation between the allies on such issues as economic cooperation and Seoul's campaign to secure enough coronavirus vaccines at an early date.


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