Sejong (South Korea)

2017-04-11 10:24:11 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Sejong, officially Sejong Special Self-Governing City and formerly known as Yeongi County is South Korea's de facto administrative capital city. In early 2007, the South Korean government created a special administrative district from parts of South Chungcheong Province and North Chungcheong Province provinces, near Daejeon, to relocate nine ministries and four national agencies from Seoul. The new capital opened on 2 July 2012, with 36 government agencies slated to move there by 2015.

History

In 2003, former President Roh Moo-hyun of the Democratic Party (now Minjoo Party of Korea) sought to relocate the national capital of South Korea from the metropolitan city of Seoul to a new multifunctional administrative city in the centre of the country. The goal was to reduce the influence and dominance of Seoul on national governance and economics, whilst promoting the regional development of other areas of the country. According to former Home Administration Minister Maeng Hyung-gyu in 2012, “Sejong is a symbol of the country’s efforts toward more balanced regional development", helping to decongest Seoul and spur investment in the country’s central region.

In October 2004, the Constitutional Court dealt a setback to President Roh's plans, ruling that the capital must remain in Seoul in response to a complaint filed by the main opposition Grand National Party (now Saenuri Party). As such, the Roh administration was forced to modify the project to relocate the majority of ministries and government institutes to Sejong, which would become a special administrative city instead of a new capital. The revised plan was approved by the parliament in March 2005. Challenges to the new plan were rejected by the Constitutional Court in November 2005.

When the Conservative Grand National Party retook the presidential office in 2008, President Lee Myung-bak opposed the idea of moving government agencies, claiming that it would hurt the capital’s global competitiveness and result in inefficiency. Plans were made to make Sejong an industrial, science and education hub instead. This plan was opposed by many, including Roh’s allies and some members of the ruling Grand National Party, including Lee’s archrival and eventual successor Park Geun-hye. Defeat in the mid-2010 local elections forced Lee to present the proposal to the National Assembly, which voted them down.

As of 2014, 36 central government offices, including nine ministries and 16 state-run organisations have moved into the city. However, the national assembly and many important government bodies are still in Seoul.

In July 2012 Sejong was created incorporating all of Yeongi County, three townships of Gongju and one township of Cheongwon County.

In April 2013 the government of Putrajaya, Malaysia signed a letter of intent (LOI) with the government of Sejong City to mark cooperation between the two cities.

Geography

Sejong is located between three other major Korean cities: Daejeon, Cheonan and Cheongju. It is about 121 kilometres (75 mi) from Seoul.

Tourist attractions

Sejong Lake Park

The Sejong Lake Park has Korea’s largest artificial lake, which is 62 times as big as a soccer field and has 3m of average water level. You can find a beautifully unfolded screen in the neighborhood with the National Library of Sejong and the Jeonwolsan Mountain, which fit in perfectly with the park. The Sejong Lake Park has five artificial islands: the Festival Island as a place for various festivals, the Stage Island that can boast of being the best floating stage in Korea, the Pool Island that associates with the seashore in the city, and the Water Flower Island and the Marsh Island with various water plants and ecological marshes. Plus, a trail and bicycle road near the lake can be a place for Sejong citizens to have a leisurely and relaxed time.

Festival

Beginning from 2013, Sejong Festival is held in every October by integrating some parts of festivals in Yeongi-gun, including the Dowon Culture Festival and the Wanguimul Festival. Based on the myths of King Sejong the Great, Hangeul, and Sejong City, the festival provides various programs to satisfy visitors, including concerts, contests and many other events immensely worth experiencing. Held at the Sejong Lake Park, which is the representative landmark of Sejong City, the Sejong Festival has become a prominent regional festival drawing national attraction beyond Sejong City.

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