Yoon says S. Korea will work to firmly defend democracy
By Lee Haye-ah
SEOUL, March 29 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol said Wednesday that South Korea will partner with the international community to firmly defend democracy in the face of challenges from authoritarian forces.
Yoon made the pledge while leading the first plenary session of the second Summit for Democracy, titled "Democracy Delivering Economic Growth and Shared Prosperity."
South Korea is one of five co-hosts for this year's summit, along with the United States, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Zambia.
"The democracy that led humanity's freedom and prosperity in the last century is faced with a significant challenge," Yoon said during the virtual gathering of dozens of leaders from around the world.
"In addition to the formation of blocs by authoritarian forces that deny head-on the rules-based international order, the fake democracy represented by anti-intellectualism is emerging worldwide," he said.
Yoon called for starting on a new journey to reviving democracy through innovation and solidarity.
South Korea's development, he said, has been an endless journey toward freedom, with the country now fulfilling its role and responsibility as a "freedom facilitator" in the international community.
Yoon called attention to various threats to freedom and democracy, including attempts to change the status quo by force and the wide dissemination of fake news online.
He also stressed the importance of freedom, human rights and the rule of law in ensuring democracy works.
"It is clear that democracy is the only system and mechanism that defends and guarantees the freedom of mankind," he said.
Yoon pledged that as the host of the next Summit for Democracy, South Korea will fulfill its responsibility and role in strengthening democracy, the rule of law and parliamentarism.
"By closely cooperating with the international community, we will strongly support solidarity to firmly defend democracy and take action," he said.
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