President Kim Dae-jung's New Year Message to the Nation
January 1, 2002
The year 2002 has dawned. I pray the New Year will bring all of you abundant blessings and high hopes.
This year indeed promises greater expectations than ever before. The 2002 FIFA World Cup and Busan Asian Games that we have been diligently preparing for are coming up. We have to exert our best efforts to complete the final work to make both events a big success. The two sports festivals will serve as a springboard for national prosperity in the 21st century. Thanks to such events, the prestige of Korea, as well as the popularity of its products, will rise in the international community. Foreign investment will increase and tourism will be revitalized. Also this is an occasion for bolstering national harmony.
Particularly, the World Cup finals represent one of the first major global events to take place since the terrorist attacks on the United States last year. Therefore, the success of the World Cup will contribute a great deal to the peace and security of the world as well as the Korean Peninsula. Let us all join forces and make the games a resounding success.
The year 2002 will also see presidential and local elections. The Government will ensure the political neutrality of the civil servants and a fair election atmosphere. Malicious rumors and the instigation of provincialism that tend to occur during every election, harming national progress, will be sternly dealt with. The people and the Government should resolve as one to hold fair and clean elections.
What is most important is to continue economic reforms and ensure our economic competitiveness in the world market. We have to make sustained development of information technology, biotechnology, cultural technology, nanotechnology and environmental technology while fostering the agricultural and other traditional industries with the use of these high technologies. We have to increase exports, rejuvenate domestic consumption and maintain favorable international credit ratings. By doing so, we will be able to take a great leap in the world market which is expected to improve this year.
Another task for us is to work harder to enhance the living standards of low- and middle-income families through the realization of economic justice and strengthening of the social safety net. The Government will strive to create more jobs and develop human resources to the maximum.
The Government will consistently pursue a policy of reconciliation and cooperation with North Korea based on a firm security stance in an effort to promote a peace regime on the peninsula. Our Sunshine Policy is the best alternative in our endeavor to deter war and eventually bring about national unification. Backed by public opinion, the Government will try to improve South-North relations steadily and unceasingly as much as it can.
I am resolved to exert utmost efforts along with all citizens of the nation to successfully carry out all those tasks during this year and make it a time of national glory and advancement. For this, I need your unreserved support and cooperation.
We can achieve these goals. The only thing necessary is strong confidence and clear vision. Let us make 2002 a defining year for continuing national prosperity. I wish every one of you a Happy New Year.