SEOUL, President Moon Jae-in marked his first year in office Thursday with nothing but a short message for the people and a small musical concert for his neighbors.
"It has been a year of nonstop running. It has been a year of efforts to eradicate social evil and building a nation that deserves to be called a nation," the president said in a message posted on social network service accounts of his office Cheong Wa Dae.
"Most of all, it has been a year of trying to make our people proud to be a citizen of the Republic of Korea," he added, referring to his country by its official name.
Moon took office exactly a year earlier Thursday after winning the unprecedented presidential by-election caused by the ouster of his predecessor Park Geun-hye over corruption allegations.
The president insisted he and his country still had a long way to go.
"Those who fear change, refuse to change while pulling us back from moving forward still remain unpersuadable," Moon said.
He said his government and the nation will move forward despite such resistance as long as the people want changes.
"It is the people who are changing the world right now. It is the people who are building a just Republic of Korea. I sincerely wish to hear people say, 'Lots have changed. Lives are much better now,'" he said.
"I wish peace was natural."
In his first year, Moon became the third South Korean leader to have met a North Korean leader and the first South Korean president to do so in the first year in office.
His historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, has also led to unprecedentedly high hopes among South Koreans for peace as the leaders of the divided Koreas affirmed their commitment to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
In their so-called Panmunjom Declaration, Moon and Kim also called for efforts to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended only with an armistice, technically leaving the two Koreas at war to date.
Moon and his administration are now apparently anticipating the success of an upcoming summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader, apparently one of the reasons the president decided to have a rather quiet first-year anniversary of his inauguration.
Only a small musical concert only for Moon's neighbors from near his presidential office will be the only festivity marking his inauguration, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
The Trump-Kim meeting is expected to be held later this month or in early June.
Source: Yonhap News Agency