South Korea’s president promises to correct political mistakes

STORY: South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol admitted Thursday that his government’s efforts to improve people’s lives are not working.

At his first news conference in 21 months, he said his ruling party’s crushing defeat in last month’s election reflected how voters viewed his two years in office.

“There was a lack of communication with the public to explain government policies and efforts.”

Yoon, who narrowly won the 2022 presidential election, currently has an approval rating of just 21%.

On Thursday, he promised new policies to revive the economy.

He also promised to address issues such as the country’s lowest birth rate.

Last year, South Korea’s fertility rate, already the lowest in the world, fell again, with women citing factors such as childcare costs for not having children.

“I would like to share that we are creating a new government agency to address the low birth rate and assigning it to act as a control tower. The issue of low birth rates is not something we can spend time on because it is a national crisis.”

Yoon also apologized for the first time for the controversy surrounding his wife’s acceptance of an expensive gift in 2022, calling her behavior “unreasonable.”

In terms of foreign policy, he maintained South Korea’s position on arms supplies to conflict zones, including Ukraine.

South Korea, despite being a major exporter of military equipment, has avoided supplying more

than humanitarian aid to Ukraine to avoid upsetting Russia.

Yoon said Moscow has been a good partner for the country.