"We must straighten the relationships between the people and the government, the people and public offices to meet the people's expectations. More simply, it means the government and public offices only exist for the people," he said while speaking in a ceremony to award a handful of government officials for outstanding service.
The ceremony held at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae was attended by 200 people, including government officials and their families.
The president noted the government and its officials may have failed to fulfill their mandate, saying the entire nation has witnessed how even the highest power may be brought down when that power is used for personal gain, apparently referring to the ousting of his predecessor Park Geun-hye, who was removed from office in March 2017 over corruption allegations.
"Correcting the past wrongdoings is not all that is required.
We must establish fair and just policies, systems and practices.
Establishing a culture of the public office only working for the people is the foundation of the reform this government is pushing for," the president said, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.
To this end, the president said the government will make sure those who disobey or reject unlawful orders from their superiors will not face any disadvantages at work or in their careers.
Also, those who work hard and faithfully within their given power and authority will not be held responsible for any negative outcome of their work, he told the meeting.
"I am also aware there are many difficulties stemming from the exponentially increasing amount of work and limited number of workers. The government will continue its efforts to expand its workforce and equipment. It will also do its utmost to create a work environment where workers will not face difficulties due to childbirth or child rearing," he added.(Yonhap)