President Moon Jae-in called for all-out efforts to eradicate corruption Tuesday, including what he called petit irregularities deeply embedded in everyday lives.
The call came at an anti-corruption policy coordination meeting held at his office Cheong Wa Dae.
"In order to build a corruption-free society, we need to make ceaseless efforts. Corruption comes back to life the minute we let our guard down," the president told the meeting.
Moon said corruption will always find a way to go around new anti-corruption measures.
"That is why anti-corruption measures must be implemented sternly and continuously with patience," he said, according to Cheong Wa Dae pool reports.
The president emphasized the importance of infrastructure to prevent and monitor corruption, along with legal provisions that would allow and encourage anyone to report corruption without hesitation.
To this end, the president stressed the need for increased rewards to whistleblowers and those who report corruption.
He also highlighted the importance of stern punishment.
"We must strongly punish even the smallest corruption so that there will be more to lose than gain through corruption," the president told the meeting.
"Corruption cannot be measured in size. Even small corruption may change the course of one's life and eventually change the fate of the Republic of Korea," he added, referring to his country by its official name. (Yonhap)