Six days after his inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly, President Yoon Suk-yeol was back in parliament Monday morning - this time, to deliver his first policy speech and call for bipartisan support in passing his administration's 46 billion U.S. dollar supplementary budget plan.
"Given that stabilizing people's livelihood is more urgent than ever, I sincerely ask for parliamentary cooperation so that the extra budget can be finalized as soon as possible."
Mr. Yoon stressed that across-the-aisle collaboration is now more key than ever considering the economic and security challenges faced by the nation both at home and abroad including North Korea's advancing nuclear weapons and missile programs.
The new Commander-in-Chief noted that the North has shown signs of preparing for its seventh nuclear test.
"We must build peace, not a mere formality, but a sustainable one, under which the process of North Korea's denuclearization and inter-Korean trust-building form a virtuous cycle."
On humanitarian assistance, though, the South Korean leader reiterated that his government's offer to provide coronavirus vaccines and other medical supplies to the North remains valid free of any political or military consideration.
President Yoon's parliamentary address on Monday came days before his very first one-on-one with his U.S. counterpart, Joe Biden, set for Saturday in Seoul where North Korea's latest provocations are expected to top the agenda.
But, that's not all.
"I will discuss with U.S. President Biden, who's visiting South Korea this week, ways to strengthen cooperation on the global supply chain, through the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework. And discussions will include various economic security issues, such as the digital economy and carbon neutrality, not just ways to stabilize the supply chain."
Yoon Jung-min, Arirang News.