We start at South Korea’s National Assembly.
President Moon Jae-in has delivered his fifth budget bill speech since taking office.
He highlighted the need for thorough virus prevention measures and efforts to prop up the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more on this, let’s go over to our Blue House correspondent Hong Yoo.
Just walk us through some of the key proposals in the President’s speech?

Mark, “a country strong in crisis” is how President Moon Jae-in described South Korea during his 2021 budget speech.
He said South Korea was able to show the world how the country is advanced in terms of disease prevention.
President Moon said that as South Korea was able to contain the virus effectively, global credit rating agencies are projecting the country to see better economic growth for next year than most countries around the world.
To make that projection a reality, the proposed budget calls for just under 500 billion U.S. dollars of spending an on-year increase of 8.5 percent.
The ‘Korean New Deal’ is the core of this budget proposal as the country has increased investment to expand employment and the social safety net as well as create new growth engines.
The government will provide an employment maintenance fund to protect 460 thousand jobs, and to create 570 thousand private jobs and more than 1 million public jobs.
More than 7 billion U.S. dollars will be invested in the ‘digital new deal’ to foster non-contact industries such as establishing a ‘data dam’ to collect, manufacture, and use data.
Another 7 billion dollars will go into the ‘green new deal’ as the government plans to replace coal power with renewable energy.
These new developments will be spread nationwide to promote balanced regional growth.

Were there any concrete examples of the Korean New Deal project?

Yes, Mark. They are ‘smart cities, green smart schools, green remodeling, and the smart green industrial complex’.
President Moon expects these businesses will lead to innovation in people’s lives after COVID-19 and asked the National Assembly to support this proposal by actively sharing their ideas about it.
The government also plans to inject 3.5 billion dollars to nurture the growing industries related to system semiconductors, new types of automobiles and bio-health.
On defense, more than 46 billion dollars will be used to develop technology and the domestic production of materials, as well as improving pay for soldiers.
President Moon however, reiterated the importance of peace and denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, describing peace as a common road for both Koreas.
Back to you Mark.

Reporter : yoohong@arirang.com


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