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Opening Remarks by President Moon Jae-in at Meeting with His Senior Secretaries


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(Unofficial translation)

 I am grateful to the Government, businesses and the people for coming together to deliver a concerted response to Japan’s trade retaliation.

 We must turn this situation into an opportunity to engage in a sober self-reflection and establish a springboard for the Republic of Korea to reach a new level. We must not stop at merely overcoming Japan’s trade retaliation, but proceed further to adopt an even wider perspective and summon an unshakable resolve that will help us surpass the Japanese economy. In parallel with the efforts to dramatically enhance the competitiveness of our component and materials industries, we have to implement wide-ranging economic policies to reinvigorate the economy across the board.

 Following the recent passing of the supplementary budget, I urge you to ensure that this stated policy objective of the Government is fully represented in the process of drafting next year’s budget.

 Moreover, we have to rekindle and fuel dynamism, which is the Korean economy’s biggest strength. 

 As an IT powerhouse equipped with world-class ICT, Korea is also highly rated for its innovative capabilities across the globe. The creation of a second venture boom has provided further drive for innovative startups, while commercial 5G services were launched for the first time in the world. New industries designated as our future growth engines – system semiconductors, electric cars, hydrogen vehicles and bio-health – have also achieved remarkable progress. Furthermore, the scope of our economy is rapidly expanding through the diversification of trade facilitated by the New Southern and New Northern Policies.

 I believe that stepping up innovative growth in this manner and expanding our economic sphere will be the fundamental solution.

 Japan will never succeed in impeding our economic drive. Rather, it will only serve to inspire us to fortify our resolve to become an economic powerhouse.

 The recent incident reaffirmed our sense of the urgent need to create a peace-driven economy. The Japanese economy holds advantages over the Korean economy in terms of the size of its economy and the domestic market. The realization of a peace economy through inter-Korean economic cooperation will allow us to immediately catch up with Japan’s advantages.

 We cannot let ourselves languish in pessimism or give up on peace economy because of fluctuations in inter-Korean and North Korea-U.S. relations. Since there have been many years of confrontation and distrust, this will only become reality when we recover mutual trust through persistent efforts. When the two Koreas make concerted efforts with the confidence that peace economy will open up a unique future of opportunities for us, we will be able to achieve denuclearization and ensuing peace on the Korean Peninsula and bring about common prosperity upon this foundation.

 The Japanese Government is inflicting great pain on the people of our two countries who have developed mutually beneficial bilateral relations thus far by overcoming the painful past. The Japanese Government is bringing upon itself the criticism that Japan is a country that does not remember its past.

 The international community is strongly criticizing Japan for undermining the free trade order. Japan must realize that it will not be able to assume the role of a global leader through economic strength alone.

 While renewing our resolve to become an economic powerhouse, we will also cherish the value of democracy and human rights above all and consistently seek a free and fair economy as well as a peaceful and cooperative order.

 We will take the lead in establishing an order of peace on the Korean Peninsula and stand firm in implementing the spirit of coexistence, co-prosperity and mutually beneficial cooperation on the international stage. As a responsible member of the international community, we will uphold the universal value of humanity and international norms.  

 The Republic of Korea will raise its stature as a peaceful nation and a cultural powerhouse and usher in a new future as an economic force upon the foundation of moral high ground and mature democracy. The Korean Government will move forward with a bold objective and a sense of duty steeped in history.   

 I hope that the people, with a sense of pride and confidence, will join us in ushering in a future of a triumph for the Republic of Korea.