|President Yoon Suk-yeol, left, checks vegetable prices at a discount supermarket in southern Seoul, Thursday. Yonhap|
President Yoon Suk-yeol called Thursday for stabilizing consumer prices ahead of next month's Chuseok holiday, saying recent floods have added to people's economic woes.
Yoon presided over a regular meeting on the economy and people's livelihood matters at a discount supermarket in southern Seoul after spending a large part of the week coordinating the government's response to deadly downpours in the capital area.
"We have to prepare in advance for the holiday, but high prices and damage from heavy rains are causing people's lives to be more difficult than ever," Yoon said, noting that this year's Chuseok falls earlier than usual, from Sept. 9-12.
"The government must do its best so that those in difficult economic circumstances do not feel left out and can spend a warm time with their families at least during Chuseok," he said.
Yoon said the most urgent task is recovery and assistance following this week's floods in and around Seoul.
He called for mobilizing all administrative powers to provide compensation, relief to displaced people and support for small businesses before the start of the Chuseok holiday.
Chuseok, the Korean autumn harvest celebration, is an annual celebration during which millions of South Koreans travel across the country to gather with family members and share gifts and food.
"We must curb the price of the holiday shopping basket in a way that can be felt by the people," Yoon said.
"We're in a difficult situation due to high prices, but we must supply high-demand Chuseok items at unprecedentedly high levels so as to help ease the burden of shopping during the holiday period," he said. (Yonhap)