Friday, March 04, 2005

Govt agencies to move out of Seoul

The Straits Times, March 4, 2005

SEOUL - THE National Assembly has approved a plan to relocate most of the government agencies from South Korea's congested capital of Seoul. The parliament's 158-14 vote in favour of the government's partial relocation plan on Wednesday came nearly five months after the nation's Constitutional Court ruled against its initial proposal of relocating the entire government seat to a town south of Seoul.

Under the revised plan, South Korea will move 18 government agencies, including the Ministry of Finance and Economy, to the Yeonggi-Gongju area, 160km south of Seoul. The move is expected to begin in 2012. The Presidential Office and the Foreign and Defence ministries remain in Seoul, which will continue to be the official government seat. During his election campaign in 2002, President Roh Moo Hyun pledged to build a new capital in Yeonggi-Gongju to ease congestion in Seoul, which is crowded with 10 million people - over one-fifth of the country's 48 million people. -- ASSOCIATED PRESS

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