SEOUL-- President Moon Jae-in again stressed the importance of creating new jobs Friday, calling it a fundamental solution to most serious problems facing the country, including its low birth rate.
His remarks came in a meeting involving some 220 top policymakers from the government, including the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, and political parties, to discuss and set the direction of the new administration's financial strategies for the next five years, according to Cheong Wa Dae.
The two-day meeting began Thursday, one day after the new government announced its five major policy objectives, along with 100 tasks to achieve them.
In the second session of the meeting, held at the presidential office, many, including top presidential secretary for social affairs Kim Su-hyun, voiced a need for stepped up efforts, along with increased government spending, to boost the country's birth rate.
"The third government measures on low birth rate announced in 2016 are exactly the same, down to each word, from the first set announced in 2006. I am afraid we may have to have every ministry put in everything they have no matter how much money it costs," Kim was quoted as saying.
Gender Equality Minister Chung Hyun-back stressed the need for increased support for female workers, noting many are often forced to quit their jobs after giving births.
Moon agreed with an urgent need to boost the country's birth rate.
"I believe the current situation requires us to put in all national resources. And, in the end, increasing jobs for the youth and easing of unemployment problem are the fundamental solutions to the low birth rate," Moon told the meeting, according to Park.
The two-day meeting came as a follow-up to the announcement of the 100 policy tasks as it apparently sought to prioritize policy objectives, rather than discussing ways to finance the government tasks as earlier expected.
Park said the government will likely begin discussing how to fund the tasks, possibly including a tax hike, at the economy-related ministers' meeting next week.
Friday's meeting also discussed ways to accelerate and support the so-called fourth industrial revolution in the country.
To this end, the presidential office said the government has decided to nearly double its investment on what it called researcher-initiated research and development to 2.5 trillion won (US$2.23 billion) in 2022 from 1.26 trillion won this year, according to Park.
Source: Yonhap News Agency