The countdown has begun for the launch of Korea’s mini-capital in South Chungcheong, the new home for 36 ministries and government agencies and 10,452 civil servants. After an hour on a bullet train from Seoul Station to Daejeon, another hour on a subway to Banseok Station, 20 minutes waiting at a bus stop and another 30 minutes on the bus, a cluster of concrete buildings emerge in the barren, snow-covered fields of South Chungcheong. The road is empty of cars or passersby, and construction trucks are idle along the road. As the bus stops, a recorded announcement declares the arrival at Cheotmaeul, the first village of Sejong City.
Located 120 kilometers (74.5 miles) south of Seoul, Sejong City is Korea’s spanking new administrative capital. The brainchild of the late President Roh Moo-hyun is now becoming a reality. The Lee Myung-bak administration tried scrapping the plan, saying it would be folly to move most government offices so far out of Seoul, but the National Assembly shot down the attempt last June. Since then, the plan to build a “multifunctional administrative city” named for the great king from the Joseon Dynasty has steadily moved forward.
For full article see Joongang Daily.