Yoon Suk-yeol sworn in as South Korean president

Seoul: Yoon Suk-yeol was sworn in as South Korean president on Tuesday in a huge ceremony at Seoul’s National Assembly.

His appointment comes at a crucial time in the country’s history as it faces many challenges ranging from North Korea’s military threats to an economic slowdown and high inflation.

“I solemnly swear before the people that I will faithfully perform the duties of the president,” said Yoon Suk-yeol, a hawkish conservative who has vowed to get tough with Pyongyang.

Yoon belongs to the People Power Party. He is a former chief prosecutor who had vowed to protect the country and its 52 million people by respecting the constitution during an inauguration ceremony at the National Assembly.

The former prosecutor won the election in March by margins, promising to sternly deal with the threat posed by Kim Jong Un’s regime.

“President Yoon Suk-yeol expressed his appreciation for the hard work of our troops who are dedicating themselves to defending the land and protecting the people’s lives and property night and day, and emphasized they maintain a firm military readiness posture at this time when the security situation on the Korean Peninsula is grave,” the National Security Office said.

To usher in the new administration, a bell-ringing ceremony was held at the stroke of midnight in downtown Seoul.

Twenty representatives selected from the general public, including a naturalized citizen, a space scientist and a North Korean defector, rang the bell 33 times at Bosingak Pavilion.

The formal inauguration ceremony is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the National Assembly Plaza.

More than 40,000 people will gather at the inauguration ceremony, including foreign envoys, such as US Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan.

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