President Park Geun-hye on Monday called on her government to maintain a “watertight” crisis management system to minimize the potential negative ramifications from Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.
In her first public statement following last week’s referendum in Britain, Park also ordered the government to take “all necessary measures” to stabilize the local stock market that suffered a sharp drop after Britons voted to exit the EU on Thursday (local time).
“Along with the 24-hour monitoring system that is currently in place, I direct you to take all necessary measures to stabilize the market and minimize the fallout on our economy,” she said during a meeting with her senior secretaries at her office Cheong Wa Dae.
Warning of potential capital flight from emerging markets amid increasing uncertainties, the president instructed her secretaries to strengthen international cooperation to ensure that the global market can stabilize quickly.
Park also pointed out that South Korea’s financial status is strong enough to cushion the shock on the market from Brexit.
“Currently, our country’s fiscal soundness is high enough to respond to the shock on the market,” she said. “Thus, we should make active efforts to publicize our country’s capabilities (to counter the latest economic challenge).”
Touching on the North’s missile provocations last week, the chief executive called for national unity.
“When a country faces a national crisis, the most frightening issue is internal division and apathy,” she said. “When South Vietnam fell down in the past, the biggest cause was internal division.”
Park also said that although Pyongyang’s repeated nuclear and missile provocations can be brushed aside as simple threats, they could become “real” threats that can endanger the lives of the citizens.
On Wednesday, the North fired off what is believed to be two Musudan intermediate-range missiles from the east coast city of Wonsan. One launch failed, but the other flew some 400 kilometers and reached an altitude of about 1,000 km in an indication of some progress in the North’s missile development efforts.
While stressing national cohesion in the face of Pyongyang’s saber-rattling, Park also underscored the need to prevent North Korean sympathizers from “sowing division” among the public here and moving in support of the communist regime.
“We should ward off those who are sowing division here and siding with North Korea,” she claimed.
Some observers said that her remarks were made apparently in an oblique reference to a group of progressive lawmakers who have recently challenged the legality of Seoul’s protection of a group of North Korean defectors, who the reclusive state claims have been kidnapped by the South.