President Yoon Suk-yeol took the oath of workplace Tuesday, vowing to rebuild the nation on the inspiration of a liberal democracy and market financial system and providing to revive North Korea’s financial system with an “audacious plan” ought to it take steps to denuclearize.
In his inauguration tackle on the Nationwide Meeting Plaza, Yoon outlined numerous challenges going through the nation and the world from pandemics and rearrangements in world provide chains to record-low progress and rising unemployment.
“It’s our technology’s calling to construct a nation that espouses liberal democracy and ensures a thriving market financial system, a nation that fulfills its duty as a trusted member of the worldwide group, and a nation that actually belongs to the individuals,” he mentioned earlier than some 41,000 individuals gathered on the ceremony.
President Yoon Suk-yeol takes his oath of workplace throughout his inauguration ceremony on the Nationwide Meeting Plaza in Seoul on Could 10, 2022. (Pool photograph) (Yonhap)
“I stand earlier than you at the moment, humbled by the belief and duty that you’ve got given me and conscious of my solemn obligation to rebuild this nice nation.”
Yoon technically started his five-year time period at midnight within the underground bunker of the brand new presidential workplace constructing in Yongsan the place he was briefed by the Joint Chiefs of Employees on North Korea’s newest army actions and the South Korean army’s readiness posture, in keeping with his workplace.
“Whereas North Korea’s nuclear weapon packages are a risk not solely to our safety and that of Northeast Asia, the door to dialogue will stay open in order that we are able to peacefully resolve this risk,” Yoon mentioned in his inaugural speech.
“If North Korea genuinely embarks on a course of to finish denuclearization, we’re ready to work with the worldwide group to current an audacious plan that may vastly strengthen North Korea’s financial system and enhance the standard of life for its individuals,” he mentioned.
Yoon devoted a big portion of his speech to underscoring the worth of freedom — a phrase he used 35 occasions — and his dedication to working with different nations to beat frequent challenges.
He additionally warned of the debilitating results of inner division and battle on South Korea’s societal development and progress.
“It’s vital that we obtain fast progress and this may solely be doable by way of science, expertise and innovation,” he mentioned. “Science, expertise and innovation — they’ll defend our democracy, increase freedom and our inalienable rights to let our individuals take pleasure in a sustainable lifetime of dignity.”
Yoon takes over at a time when the South Korean financial system is struggling to take care of “three simultaneous highs” in inflation, rates of interest and trade charges.
On the safety entrance, the specter of North Korea’s nuclear and missile packages looms bigger than ever, because the communist nation seems set to hold out its seventh nuclear take a look at as early as this month.
Each financial safety and North Korea are anticipated to characteristic excessive on the agenda of Yoon’s first summit with U.S. President Joe Biden in Seoul on Could 21.
Biden’s go to, set for Could 20-22, will come solely 10 days after Yoon took workplace, and their deliberate assembly will mark the earliest-ever Korea-U.S. summit to happen following a South Korean president’s inauguration.
Yoon headed straight to the brand new presidential workplace after the ceremony, waving to residents whereas standing in his automobile and stopping briefly at a playground with first woman Kim Keon-hee to satisfy with kids.
Yoon fought laborious to arrange the brand new workplace on the previous protection ministry compound as an indication of his will to attract nearer to the general public.
Yoon regarded Cheong Wa Dae, the previous presidential workplace constructed on an imposing compound on the foot of a mountain, as a “image of imperial energy.”
Within the afternoon, he met with overseas delegations visiting South Korea to attend his inauguration, together with U.S. second gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Japanese Overseas Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi.
Emhoff handed him a letter from Biden that he mentioned not solely supplied the U.S. president’s congratulations however outlined his will to work intently with Yoon over the subsequent 5 years.
Hayashi additionally gave Yoon a letter from Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, to which the president responded that he appears to be like ahead to working with Kishida to enhance bilateral ties.
Later within the day, Yoon will attend inauguration celebrations on the Nationwide Meeting and host a dinner for native and overseas dignitaries at Resort Shilla.
In his speech, Yoon known as on the nation to tackle larger duties because the tenth largest financial system on the planet.
“It’s incumbent upon us to tackle a larger position befitting our stature as a world chief,” he mentioned. “We should tackle an excellent larger position in increasing freedom and human rights not only for ourselves but in addition for others. The worldwide group expects us to take action. We should reply that decision.”
One of many largest challenges Yoon faces in overseas coverage is repairing deeply fractured ties with Japan.
With China, Yoon wants Beijing’s cooperation to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and keep a sturdy bilateral commerce relationship.
On the home entrance, Yoon faces a hostile Nationwide Meeting managed by the primary opposition Democratic Get together (DP).
With 168 out of 300 seats, the DP has delayed the parliamentary affirmation course of for Yoon’s Cupboard nominees, forcing the brand new authorities to carry its first Cupboard assembly this week with a number of members of the outgoing administration.
In the meantime, the June 1 native elections are solely weeks away, and the brand new authorities needs to keep away from a situation the place Yoon’s ruling Folks Energy Get together loses both the native elections or the seven parliamentary by-elections being held concurrently so early in its time period.