Sejong City Opens Monday, Roh's Pledge Fulfilled

Write : 2012-07-02 12:30:13 Update : 2012-07-02 15:30:19

Sejong City Opens Monday, Roh's Pledge Fulfilled

Anchor: An inauguration ceremony was held Monday to celebrate the launch of the new administrative city of Sejong as the nation's 17th autonomous metropolitan city. At the event, Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik promised the central government's full support to help the city excel in all areas. Our Kim In-kyung tells us more.

Report: It has been a decade since late former President Roh Moo-hyun pledged to build a new administrative capital in South Chungcheong Province to pursue balanced national development and resolve the overcrowdedness of the Seoul metropolitan area. That pledge, made when the former president was a presidential candidate in September 2002, was fulfilled on Monday.

About two-thousand people took part in the inauguration ceremony including citizens, government officials and politicians. Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, Minister of Public Administration Maeng Hyung-gyu, ruling Saenuri Party former chairwoman and presidential hopeful Park Geun-hye, and main opposition Democratic United Party Chairman Lee Hae-chan were among those present.

Sejong City Mayor Yu Han-sik said in his inaugural address prior to the ceremony that he is greatly honored to take office as the first mayor of the new city on such a historic day and feels great responsibility. He said he will do his best to turn Sejong into a world-class city that people will want to live in.

Sejong will operate as an independent administrative entity under the direct control of the central government without local governments at the district and county levels. The city spans a 465-square-kilometer area and is about 77 percent of the size of Seoul. The area covers the whole of former Yeongi County, and parts of Gongju City and Cheongwon County.

The Prime Minister's Office will move to Sejong in September, followed by about two-thirds of all government offices including 17 ministries and 20 agencies by the end of 2014.

The government expects Sejong's population to grow from 121-thousand at present to 300-thousand in 2020 and 500-thousand by 2030 when the city is expected to be completely developed.

Kim In-kyung, KBS World Radio News.

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