Blueprint of “Happy Sejong” and Mayor Lee Chun-hee

Lee Chun-hee, Mayor of Sejong City

Lee Chun-hee, Mayor of Sejong City

On March 31st, AJA member reporters paid a visit to the new administrative city, Sejong. As part of an endeavor to relieve Seoul of the burden of being Korea’s economic, administrative, and educational capital all at the same time, Lee Chun-hee (now mayor of Sejong) was behind the Sejong city-founding project that began over ten years ago.

Today, over 60 government facilities are located in Sejong and are being run by officials that recently moved from central Seoul. In a two-hour interview with the Mayor, AJA members became acquainted with the process it took to paving the foundation of an independent city and the future steps that must be taken for a fully-functioning and interactive administrative capital.

When asked by Gunjeet Sra (Chief Executive of Subcltr Media, India) of the difficulties in moving the administrative capital and the risk of a power-vacuum, Mayor Lee noted that substantial amount of funding and time remains to be invested in this project as two-thirds of the city is still being built. Korea will continue to lighten Seoul of all its responsibilities by creating a marine capital in Busan and a culture capital in Gwangju. This way, the whole nation will not rely solely on the current capital. Equal distribution of power amongst multiple provinces will provide room for regional development.

Mayor Lee Chun-hee also added that if it becomes necessary in the future, the local Sejong government is open to welcoming a foreign embassy complex where many embassies can enjoy easier access to domestic and international communication.


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