Briefing Room

2022 Dec. 16

President Yoon checks national tasks with 100-member civilian panel

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Dec. 15 held an inaugural conference for checking major national tasks at Yeongbingwan, the guesthouse at the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. Chaired by the president, the event began at 2 p.m., exceeded the scheduled running time of 100 minutes and was broadcast live for 160 minutes. This is the second meeting chaired by President Yoon to be aired live after his 11th emergency meeting on economy and livelihood on Oct. 27. In his introductory speech, he said, "National tasks are our government's standards for administration and a pledge to the people." "We must evaluate and inspect them before the year is over," he said in explaining the background for hosting the meeting. The themes of the conference were "economy and public livelihood," "vision and strategy for the provincial era," and "three reform tasks (pension, labor and education)." President Yoon called the three tasks "not optional but essential," adding, "Reform is unpopular but must be done without fail." A panel of civilians selected by recommendations from each government branch surrounded the president at the conference. The head of each ministry sat interspersed with the panelists. Sectors not discussed at the meeting such as diplomacy, national security, and agriculture and forestry will be covered at the second edition slated for the first half of next year.

2022 Dec. 9

President Yoon hosts dinner for nat'l soccer team, calls them 'WC champs'

President Yoon Suk Yeol and first lady Kim Keon Hee on Dec. 8 hosted a banquet for the national soccer team, which advanced to the round of 16 at this year's Qatar World Cup. The Office of the President in a written briefing said President Yoon and the first lady hosted a two-hour welcoming dinner for the 21-member squad, head coach Paulo Bento and assistant coaches, and the team cook and doctor at Yeongbingwan, the state guesthouse of the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae. "I was deeply moved by players who fought to the end with unwavering heart," the president said in his welcoming speech. "To our people and me, you are the World Cup champions." The Taegeuk Warriors on Dec. 2 took a commemorative photo holding the national flag inscribed with the term "unwavering heart" after their dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 upset over Portugal that earned a ticket to the tournament's knockout round. "Soccer is the common language of people around the world as well as a song and dance," the president said. "You are more than athletes; you are missionaries of peace who provide comfort and hope to everyone facing adversity. Please have more confidence." "Your youth and passion have given great comfort and hope to countries and people facing adversity inside and out and provided our people the will to overcome," he added. "As the president, I will strongly support you with better conditions so that you can confidently play with all your strength at the 2026 World Cup." In his toast, President Yoon said, "To the health of Korea's World Cup team and Coach Bento." Bento, who resigned as coach with the end of the tournament, said, "I would like to thank all the players, staff and the Korean people who were with us." Team captain Son Heung-min told the president, "We players will never forget this moment. We would appreciate it if you could firmly support and care about us like you do now so that we can practice soccer harder to do better and make Korea shine brighter." Son put the captain armband he wore during the World Cup around President Yoon's left arm. The first lady said after the dinner, "Four years of sweat and hard work for one purpose have led to the precious fruit of an advance to the round of 16,"adding, "As a fan, I thank the team for repaying the people's passionate support under a sense of responsibility as our country's representative." As the team's delegates, Son and midfielder Lee Kang-in gave to President Yoon and his wife the gifts of a soccer ball and uniforms signed by the players. President Yoon gave Son a national team uniform with the president's signature and the inscribed message "Again Korea, we and the people congratulate you for advancing to the round of 16 in Qatar." The president also trapped the gift ball signed by all of the players with his chest.

2022 Dec. 7

President Yoon, first lady talk over snacks with Vietnamese leader

President Yoon Suk Yeol and first lady Kim Keon Hee on Dec. 6 held a talk with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who was on a state visit to Korea, at Sangchunjae, the reception hall of the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul. Deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung in a written briefing that day said the president and his wife visited Sangchunjae for a 30-minute friendly chat over snacks with President Phuc. The two leaders met for two consecutive days including the day before at the Office of the President in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District. The day of their Cheong Wa Dae meetup was Tuesday, when the compound is closed to the public. Stepping inside Sangchunjae, President Yoon explained that the building was erected 40 years ago and that its name means "a house of everlasting spring." "After I took office, I opened Cheong Wa Dae to the public so all the people can visit Sangchunjae," he added. The first lady said wood from pine trees over 200 years old were used when first building Sangchunjae. President Phuc looked around and said he could feel the tradition of Korean architecture. At the snack meeting, President Phuc said, "I am deeply grateful to my Korean friends for helping Vietnam's development by believing in Vietnam's potential through much investment," adding, "With so much room for cooperation not just in economy but also other sectors like national defense, I'm certain that both countries will become the best partners in Asia." In response, President Yoon said, "I'm so glad and grateful that President Phuc visited Korea to mark the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties between Korea and Vietnam," adding, "I believe that President Phuc's visit will be a good opportunity to make the past 30 years a steppingstone to take a major step forward in bilateral relations and develop them into a comprehensive strategic partnership." First lady Kim also asked for President Phuc's help in resolving visa issues for Koreans in Vietnam. The Office of the President quoted her as saying, "I have recently read media reports saying many Korean visitors to or residents in Vietnam are struggling with visa problems," asking President Phuc to "examine the matter with interest." President Phuc responded that he will do his best for the convenience of Koreans. The Vietnamese leader also expressed regret that his wife Tran Thi Nguyet Thu could not accompany him on his visit. The first lady responded by saying, "I'm sad that I couldn't meet the first lady this time, but I'll write a letter describing my hope to see her next year," adding, "Please make sure she gets the gifts we sent her." President Yoon and the first lady gave as presents to the Vietnamese leader and his wife a small portable dining table and cosmetics. The day before, President Yoon invited President Phuc to Yeongbingwan, the state guesthouse of Cheong Wa Dae, for a state banquet before holding their snack meeting at Sangchunjae the next day. Thus the former presidential compound hosted two straight events of a state visit.

2022 Dec. 6

Korea, Vietnam upgrade ties to 'comprehensive strategic partnership'

President Yoon Suk Yeol on Dec. 5 held his first summit with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Office of the President in Seoul's Yongsan-gu District, deciding to upgrade bilateral relations to a "comprehensive strategic partnership." At a joint news conference in the afternoon after their talks, both leaders announced their adoption of a joint statement on the partnership. "We want to usher in a new era of bilateral ties through a comprehensive strategic partnership between Korea and Vietnam," President Yoon said. "We will consider measures to improve the effectiveness of existing strategic dialogue on diplomacy and national security and further develop it." He added that his administration will actively support raising Vietnam's capacity to enforce maritime law to contribute to regional maritime security and expanding bilateral cooperation in the defense industry. Saying documents on cooperation were signed in the presence of both leaders after their summit, President Yoon said, "Through this, we expect to expand prospects for bilateral cooperation by covering key economic and national security issues." On the stability of supply chains, he said, "We agreed to mutually recognize the huge potential for bilateral cooperation in the development of rare earth minerals abundant in Vietnam and decided to seek concrete measures to that end." "Along with building a mutually reciprocal supply chain, we will boost bilateral cooperation in areas such as finance, information and communications, advanced technology, construction of infrastructure and energy," he added. "We will expand tailored developmental cooperation with Vietnam in cutting-edge science and technology, health and infrastructure." In a separate announcement, President Phuc said both sides agreed to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, adding, "There is still plenty of room to greatly enhance trust-based bilateral cooperation." "We agreed to diversify exchanges, contact and visits at all levels including high-ranking officials and immediately share information and opinions on bilateral ties and regional situations under a flexible method." This summit marked the 30th anniversary of bilateral ties. Beginning with a small-scale chat, the two presidents held their talks and news conference and attended a state dinner at Yeongbingwan, the state guesthouse at the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae.

2022 Dec. 5

Trade Day honors Samsung Electronics for yearly exports of USD 120B

The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Korea International Trade Association on Dec. 5 held a ceremony at COEX Mall in Seoul marking the country's 59th Trade Day to honor companies and figures contributing to expanding the nation's trade this year. Under the slogan "Accept the Challenge, Trading Power! Take a Major Leap, Republic of Korea!" (unofficial translation), 1,780 companies received Export Tower awards, 207 more than last year. The honor goes to a business that achieves an export record exceeding a certain volume. Samsung Electronics this year earned the nation's first Export Tower for grossing USD 120 billion in overseas shipments after earning one last year for USD 110 billion. SK Hynix won a prize for export volume of USD 30 billion and AMCO Technology Korea, SD Biosensor and Hanwha Solutions each got one for posting USD 20 billion in overseas sales. President Yoon Seok Yeol said in a congratulatory speech, "The government will mobilize all export-supporting capacity for the nation to make the ranks of the world's top five exporting countries by 2026," adding, "Together with leading trade people, we will work together on the export front line." He also mentioned the country's stellar export performance this year despite a difficult environment, saying, "This was thanks to all of your sweat and dedication to blazing a trail on the global market through outstanding technologies and the spirit of challenge." "We will thoroughly focus summit diplomacy on facilitating our companies' exports and advancing to overseas markets," he added. "In countries like Egypt, Poland and Saudi Arabia, we will actively foster new major export sectors that confirm our possibilities and potential like nuclear plants, defense, construction of infrastructure and Korean content." To mark the nation's feat of USD 100 billion in exports in 1964, the government that year designated Nov. 30 the inaugural Export Day. Renamed Trade Day in 1990, the occasion in 2011 was moved to Dec. 5 to commemorate the economy's milestone of USD 1 trillion in trade volume.