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President Moon to hold New Year’s press conference on Thursday

Jan. 6, 2019 - 18:15 By Park Han-na
President Moon Jae-in will hold a New Year’s meeting with reporters on Thursday to explain his administration’s key policy objectives, marking his third televised press conference since he took office in 2017, Cheong Wa Dae said Sunday.

The event will kick off at 10 a.m. with the president’s 20-minute keynote speech, followed by a question-and-answer session with reporters, which is expected to run for 80 minutes. 

President Moon Jae-in (center)  (Yonhap)

This is Moon’s third press conference with journalists from local and foreign news agencies to be broadcast live, following his 2018 New Year’s press conference and one that marked his 100th day in office in August 2017.

Entering his third year, Moon is expected to speak on his policies aimed at advancing the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and strategies to revitalize the country’s sluggish economy.

“The New Year’s press conference will be filled with an itemized discussion and policy-centered content,” said Kwun Hyuk-ki, director of the Cheong Wa Dae press center.

Reporters will be allowed to ask follow-up questions, unlike last year’s press conference.

“We plan to have the question-and-answer session be like a town hall meeting, and the president will take questions and give his answers in a comfortable atmosphere from the beginning to the end,” Kwun said.

The meeting comes at a time when the president’s approval rating has hit the lowest level since his inauguration, reflecting the public’s dissatisfaction with his economic policies.

After reaching over 70 percent following his first summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in April, Moon’s approval rating has sharply declined to 45 percent as of mid-December, according to Gallup Korea.

Critics said the president’s approval rating started to fall when economic indicators for unemployment and income worsened in June last year.

This year, the Moon administration seeks to achieve significant accomplishments in the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this month, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that 2019 should be the starting year for a full-fledged peace process, describing 2018 as a warm-up to opening an era of peace and prosperity.

By Park Han-na (