Prime minister vows more support for administrative city

SEOUL-- South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon said Saturday the government is committed to the continued development of Sejong City, the country's administrative hub, as part of efforts for balanced regional growth.

He reaffirmed a plan to relocate two major ministries -- the Ministry of the Interior in Seoul and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning in Gwacheon, just south of Seoul -- to the city some 120 kilometers south of the capital.

He was addressing a ceremony to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the launch of the city, called a "mini capital," and the 10th anniversary of the start of its construction. It is home to dozens of government offices.

Lee said the government will support efforts to draw firms and colleges to the city and use public funds to construct a Seoul-Sejong highway in a bid to reduce tolls.

He pointed out the administrative town was created for the purpose of decentralizing the government long based in Seoul with a population of around 10 million and an additional 10 million in the nearby Gyeonggi Province.

It's a fruit of the liberal Roh Moo-hyun administration's balanced national development project. Roh's five-year presidency ended in early 2008.

Lee said the Moon Jae-in government, also liberal, will make a stronger push for the development of regional areas.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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