Mr. Yoon, who is a conservative member of the People Power Party, made the statements after being sworn in as the country’s newest leader at a ceremony in the capital Seoul, taking over for departing President Moon Jae-in, who is retiring.
We are now dealing with a number of problems, Yoon said, citing the Covid-19 epidemic as well as climate change as well as an array of economic and social difficulties.
I am profoundly humbled by the enormous responsibility of leading our country out of its most recent problems,” he said as the next President.
Yoon described North Korea’s nuclear weapons development as a “danger” to the region while speaking in front of the National Assembly. However, he said that the door to conversation and peaceful settlement remained open — and that he want to contribute to the improvement of North Korean society in exchange for better security.
We are willing to collaborate with the international community to submit an ambitious plan that would significantly enhance North Korea’s economy and improve the quality of life for its people, provided North Korea really begins on a path of full disarmament, he added.
He went on to say that denuclearization will “significantly contribute to the establishment of permanent peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and across the world.”
The North Korean nuclear threat was raised throughout Yoon’s election campaign, signalling a shift away from Moon’s strategy, which had constantly emphasised peaceful reconciliation.
Meanwhile, Yoon has pledged that sanctions will remain in place until the North “makes active efforts toward complete and verifiable denuclearization,” and that he will build “a powerful military force that can assuredly deter any provocation,” according to a statement issued earlier this year by the South Korean government.
Because of a recent spike in North Korean missile tests, tensions between the two Koreas have been extremely high. On Saturday, North Korea launched a short-range ballistic missile, marking the country’s second missile test in as many weeks and the 14th missile test overall this year.
On the other hand, it only carried out four tests in 2020 and eight tests in 2021.
Yoon also spoke during the inauguration on a variety of internal challenges, including growing unemployment and declining economic development, as well as international issues. He pledged to put an end to this and promote “social mobility,” citing scientific development and technical improvement as essential priority in the process of creating the economy in his speech.
The address was followed by the inauguration of the Blue House, the presidential office, which was broadcast live on television, as well as a number of performances by a choir and orchestra.
As a prosecutor for the past 27 years of his professional life, Yoon is a relative newbie to the world of politics. Following high-profile investigations into corruption issues involving Moon’s associates, he started his political career as a state attorney general.
In March, he narrowly defeated liberal candidate Lee Jae-myung in the presidential election, winning by a razor-thin margin. Yoon’s win returned the Korean government to conservative control, more than five years after conservative Park Geun-hye was impeached for her role in a corruption scandal that also implicated her husband.