By Song Sang-ho
SEOUL, Jan. 26 (Yonhap) -- Acting President and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Thursday called for enhanced crackdowns on crimes against women and children as part of efforts to ensure public safety amid a national leadership crisis.
Since taking over early last month after President Park Geun-hye was impeached by parliament over a corruption scandal, Hwang has prioritized strengthening public safety and national security, and stabilizing citizens' livelihoods.
"The most important obligation of the government is to seek to forge a safe environment in which citizens go about their business with a sense of comfort," Hwang said during a regular meeting of top government officials on pending state affairs.
Hwang instructed officials to remove blind spots in the safety of women and continue an intensive clampdown to fend off any future crimes.
"We have to strengthen our crackdown and punishment for new types of sex crimes such as online sexual harrassment," he said. "At the same time, we have to pay careful attention to the issue of protecting and supporting the victims."
The government has led a campaign to enhance the safety of women since December, rounding up some 2,400 people on charges of domestic violence and some 1,200 for various sex crimes.
The acting president, in addition, called for a thorough response to eradicate child abuse, particularly those taking place in child care facilities.
"Given that the responsibilities and roles of those working at childcare facilities are crucial, the government has to further strengthen their qualifications, education and rules for those who engage in any improprieties," he said.
Hwang also called for enhanced measures to protect young workers, particularly those suffering from overdue wages.
Later in the day, Hwang visited Seoul Station the capital city's main train hub to exchange greetings with citizens headed for their hometowns and check if the country's public transportation system is running properly.
"We have to be fully acquainted with procedures to respond to crisis situations and stay ready to deal with any accidents, such as possible train breakdowns," he said while being briefed on the train operation plan during the holiday this week.
Hwang also visited a police station near the train station to offer his encouragement to police staff. There, he called on the staff to do their utmost to prevent crimes targeting ordinary citizens, such as reckless driving, during the holiday.
On Friday, Hwang plans to visit a shopping plaza to promote the country's shopping festival designed to attract foreign tourists.
He is scheduled to call the commander of Dongmyeong Unit -- a South Korean military contingent operating as part of the U.N. Interim Force in conflict-laden Lebanon -- and the staff of the Korea International Cooperation Agency in Nepal to show appreciation for their overseas activities.