(ATTN: UPDATES with presidential office's review of special law)
By Lee Haye-ah
SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol instructed his Cabinet on Tuesday to follow up on his recent summit meetings with foreign leaders to produce concrete results for the national interest.
Yoon made the remark at his first Cabinet meeting since returning last week from a trip to Cambodia and Indonesia, and after holding back-to-back meetings with leaders of Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands and Spain in Seoul.
"As it is directly related to our national interest and people's livelihoods, I ask all of you to do your best for follow-up measures so that they lead to actual results," he said during the meeting at the presidential office.
"The international community recognizes the Republic of Korea and wants to have close cooperation with us. They especially want to expand cooperation not only in areas where South Korea leads, such as infrastructure construction, semiconductor and digital high-tech technology, and nuclear power and defense, but also in cultural content," he said.
Yoon called for bipartisan cooperation for the sake of the national interest, quoting the famous statement by Sen. Arthur Vandenberg, "Politics stops at the water's edge."
"In a global market reminiscent of war, the government must push our businesses with all our might so they can be competitive and create many good jobs," he said.
"If we miss the right time due to political warfare, the damage will be passed on wholly to the people," he added, citing the importance of appropriate budgetary and legislative measures.
Yoon also said he will meet with experts soon to draw up comprehensive measures to improve public safety and again urged the government and police to provide full support to victims of the Itaewon crowd crush while thoroughly investigating its cause.
The presidential office is currently reviewing the establishment of a special law to ensure the victims and bereaved family members receive proper compensation, according to officials.
The move comes as a special police task force is expected to announce the interim results of its investigation into the tragedy soon, including whether public officials bungled their response.
If found responsible, the government will act in accordance with the law and push for a special law to fill any gaps, one presidential official told Yonhap News Agency.
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