(LEAD) Yoon, ruling party leaders agree on need to better look after people’s lives

SEOUL, President Yoon Suk Yeol met with leaders of the ruling People Power Party (PPP) on Wednesday and agreed on the need to communicate more closely to better look after people's lives, his office said.

The meeting was held over lunch at the presidential office with the attendance of PPP leader Rep. Kim Gi-hyeon, floor leader Rep. Yun Jae-ok, chief policymaker Rep. Yoo Ui-dong and secretary-general Rep. Lee Man-hee.

Yoo and Lee were recently appointed following the mass resignations of senior party officials in the wake of the PPP's defeat in last week's by-election for chief of Seoul's Gangseo Ward. The election had been considered a key test of voter sentiment ahead of next April's parliamentary elections.

It marks the first open-to-the public meeting between the president and the PPP leadership since early May, when the two sides met on the occasion of Yoon's first year in office.

President Yoon Suk Yeol (C) gives remarks during a dinner with members of the Presidential Committee of National Cohesion at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Oct. 17, 2023, in this photo provided by the presidential office. On the right is People Power Party leader Kim Gi-hyeon.

"The party and the presidential office noted that there are far too many people in difficulty and young people in despair, and that the people's lives should be looked after more thoroughly," senior presidential secretary for press affairs Kim Eun-hye said during a press briefing.

"For this, they agreed on the need for the party and the government to communicate more closely on policy matters," she said.

To foster close communication, the two sides also agreed to hold regular high-level talks on a weekly basis, the PPP's secretary general Rep. Lee Man-hee separately told reporters.

"We suggested holding a closed high-level meeting once every week on a regular basis and the presidential office accepted it," Lee said, adding that party officials told Yoon that they will take the lead in implementing livelihood-related policies for the people.

Rep. Lee Man-hee, the newly appointed secretary general of the ruling People Power Party, briefs reporters on what was discussed during the party's lunch with President Yoon Suk Yeol, at the National Assembly in Seoul on Oct. 18, 2023

Yoon also held a meeting with his aides earlier in the day and urged them to step closer into the lives of the public.

"The people are always and without condition correct," he was quoted as saying. "We must not make excuses for any criticism."

Yoon and the ruling party leaders took a walk at Yongsan Children's Garden in front of the presidential office after lunch, according to the senior presidential secretary.

They talked with visitors at the park, while Yoon introduced various spots to the party officials, she said.

The park sits on land previously used as a military base by U.S. forces stationed in South Korea and was opened to the public in May.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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