Moon praises precedent of nation’s sporting leaguesPresident Moon Jae-in said Wednesday that Korea is setting a precedent for how to enjoy professional sports in the coronavirus era, a day after the opening of the country’s new baseball season.
Games began on Children’s Day following a month long delay, though fans were not allowed into ballparks over concerns of Covid-19. Players were even prohibited from spitting on field.
It demonstrated Koreans’ cautious return to normalcy, as Covid-19 infections have slowed remarkably in recent weeks.
The country shifted from social distancing to “distancing in everyday life” as of Wednesday, when health authorities reported zero local infections for the third consecutive day.
“The world will learn, with a close look, how to enjoy sports while making quarantine and everyday life coexist,” the president wrote on his social media account.
He noted that the United States and Japan broadcast the games live for baseball fans thirsty for live action.
“We would be more pleased if Kbaseball is recognized [globally] via this opportunity,” he added.
Moon pointed out that the Korean football league is also scheduled to kick off Friday, Parents’ Day.
“I expect sports to give hope to the people desiring the recovery of their daily lives as early as possible,” he said. “To that end, the opening of the sports season should be well established in harmony with quarantine.”
He stressed public efforts against the virus were behind the accomplishment of the “K-quarantine.”
Moon’s policy aides plan to focus this month on drawing up post-coronavirus strategies, as he is to mark the third year in office this weekend.
The Presidential Commission on Policy Planning is co-hosting a twoday forum, titled “Crisis and opportunity in the post-coronavirus era,” in Seoul from Thursday, together with the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences.
On Thursday, the Chinese and British ambassadors to Korea — Xing Haiming and Simon Smith — will share their assessments of Korea’s handling of the coronavirus.
Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun will then deliver a special lecture on the issue.
“I hope the upcoming seminar will set the stage for predicting a huge transformation attributable to Covid- 19 and hammer out ways for our society to cope with it and relevant tasks,” Cho Dae-yop, chief of the committee, said.
Several other presidential panels, including those on Seoul’s New Southern Policy and New Northern Policy, are slated to hold a string of policy conferences in May.