SEOUL, Oct. 15 (Yonhap) -- President Moon Jae-in said Thursday the government will spare no support for the development of a COVID-19 vaccine and therapy to treat the contagious disease, during a visit to a vaccine development company.
"To completely overcome the coronavirus, the development of a vaccine and treatment is a mountain to surmount without fail," he said.
The government "will not spare support to the end until the work succeeds for sure," he added.
Moon met with related experts and business leaders at SK bioscience, a vaccine unit of SK Group, in Seongnam, south of Seoul.
Moon emphasized the significance of an indigenous vaccine and treatment, which is "stable and superb," even if such a material, for which the world is eagerly waiting, is found abroad first.
He cited the need to have the experience of developing a coronavirus vaccine and lower its supply prices.
"We should enhance our capabilities of developing vaccine and treatment in preparation for (dealing with) infectious diseases to come again after the (novel) coronavirus," he said.
South Korea aims to secure COVID-19 vaccines for 30 million people, 60 percent of the nation's population, in the initial phase, according to Moon.
It has already launched a pan-governmental council to provide vaccine developers here with necessary support.
If the ongoing development process goes smoothly, South Korea may be able to produce a coronavirus treatment in earnest within this year, with the development of a vaccine possible next year, Moon said.
He inspected research facilities of SK bioscience that is spearheading South Korea's search for a coronavirus vaccine. It has forged partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies for the drive.
Attendees at Moon's on-site session included SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won and Celltrion Group Chairman Seo Jung-jin.