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(LEAD) Yoon calls for safeguarding Constitution

16:59 January 26, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with more remarks by Yoon; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol on Thursday called for the justice ministry, the legislative agency and the competition watchdog to spare no efforts to safeguard the Constitution.

Yoon made the remark during a joint policy briefing from the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Government Legislation and the Fair Trade Commission.

Yoon branded the three organizations as an "institution that defends the Constitution, the value of the Republic of Korea," referring to South Korea by its official name.

"The nation's vision and values are all written in the Constitution," Yoon said. "The three institutions have much in common in terms of protecting the constitutional value."

Yoon instructed the three organizations to enhance measures defending the Constitution, citing efforts by chief executives to spread the vision and values of their companies to their employees and customers.

President Yoon Suk Yeol speaks during a joint policy briefing by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Government Legislation and the Fair Trade Commission at Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul on Jan. 26, 2023. (Yonhap)

"If we were to pick one keyword for the Constitution, it would be freedom," he was quoted as saying by senior presidential secretary for press affairs Kim Eun-hye.

"Modern society proves how far the gap can widen between a society that guarantees freedom and a society that does not," he said.

Whereas in the past, freedom was understood as a "laissez-faire" environment where the economically powerful could make as much money as they wished, in modern society, freedom is understood as the freedom to live without fear of sex crimes and other harmful influences, the freedom to realize one's potential, and freedom that guarantees opportunities for culture and education, Yoon said.

"The means to make this freedom sustainable in a community is fairness," he said.

In the economy, Yoon said freedom begins with guaranteeing ownership and the freedom to trade.

"Only when we stop the rent-seeking, which is difficult to accept in a fair market, through regulations against those that abuse power and cartels, can our society produce more economic and cultural value, and enjoy abundance in a fair manner," he said.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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