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S. Korea chooses new capital site

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S Korea chooses new capital site

South Korea has chosen a site in central South Chungchong province to house its new capital city.

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"The Yeongi-Kongju area has been selected as the site for a new capital," Prime Minister Lee Hai-chan said in a live national broadcast.

Construction of the new capital, which has not yet been named, is due to begin in 2007 and be completed by 2030.

The $45bn move is designed to reduce Seoul's overcrowding and economic dominance over the rest of South Korea.

Government and administrative functions will be moved to the new city, and possibly parliament and the supreme court, although any sizable relocation is not expected to happen until 2012.

The location of the new capital was chosen ahead of three other candidates, Eumseong/Jincheon in North Chungchong province, and Chonan and Kongju/Nonsan, both in South Chungchong province.

"The new capital site was found to be the best among the candidate locations in terms of potential contribution to the nation's balanced regional development, ease of access and living environment," Mr Lee was quoted as saying in the Korea Times.

Mr Lee said land purchases would begin next year on the 7,100 hectare (17,540 acre) site.

Political issue

President Roh Moo-hyun has made moving the capital one of the core objectives of his term in office, and it fulfils a campaign pledge he made before elections in 2002.

He insists the move is key to the decentralisation of the country, and more balanced regional development.

But opposition parties have called for a referendum, saying Mr Roh's plans go further than originally announced.

The Grand National Party said in a statement that the plan should be reconsidered, and was against the will of the public.

The relocation still faces legal obstacles, and civic groups have launched a constitutional appeal.

But Mr Lee said that suspending the move would go against democratic principles, since it had the backing of parliament.

From BBC

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So, is South Korea joining the few countries (South Africa, the Netherlands, Chile, Colombia) that have two capitals, or is Seoul going to no longer be the capital?

Edit: At least I believe it's Chile and Colombia in South America... I had an atlas that showed two stars for the capital in (I think) Chile and Colombia, but now I can't seem to find the book to verify.

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^ I'd imagine one of the unmentioned reasons for locating it away from Seoul is for "safety reasons", as Seoul is quite near the NK border.

But wait a second - when they say they're going to "construct" a capital, do they mean built a city from scratch (since no city, only a region, is named) or are they just going to build a few buildings in an already existant city?

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N Korea aint going till China's communism goes capitalism in about 30-40 years... And it may not be till 20-30 years after that till N Korea's government collapses.

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I thought it was paraquay that had 2 capitals. A judicial and an executive.

There are several countries with co-capitals, The Netherlands, Bolivia, and South Africa come to mind (though South Africa may have consolidated there's after apartheid ended).

But wait a second - when they say they're going to "construct" a capital, do they mean built a city from scratch (since no city, only a region, is named) or are they just going to build a few buildings in an already existant city?

From how the article reads, it would seem they are indeed constructing a new city, or at least a new district next to a current built up area. South Korea is very densely populated, so this probably wouldn't be something like Brasilia out in the woods.

Isn't this premature?

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Bolivia in S America has 2 capitals: Sucre and La Paz But I remember that there is something wierd about it. I think that La Paz is a defacto captial since it is a bigger city... Or maybe they have it split up like Judicial and Exec. I can't remember exactly.

Chile and Colombia only have one.

Is the Netherlands Amsterdam and the Hague?

I also got the impression that they were building a new city.

Two capitals has always been confusing but also fascinating to me.

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Boliva was what I was thinking. My first thought for moving the Korean capital was "safetey" reasons as well. Not that the new location is out of reach of North Korea's missles.

Seems more like a NYC to DC kind of thing. They want a city that is strictly governmental.

Another place that changed moved capitals is Belize, From Belize City to Belmopan. That's a depressing place. It's really is just a few buildings in the woods.

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Is the Netherlands Amsterdam and the Hague?

Seeing as how I'm 50% Dutch, I feel qualified to answer this question. :P

The Netherlands is kind of strange. Their formal capital city is Amsterdam. Yet at the same time, the country's seat of government is in The Hague.

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I was mistaken, it was Chile and Bolivia, not Columbia. And yes, Chile has two capitals. Santiago and Valparaiso. (Which doesn't make sense because they are right next to eachother)

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I was mistaken, it was Chile and Bolivia, not Columbia. And yes, Chile has two capitals. Santiago and Valparaiso. (Which doesn't make sense because they are right next to eachother)

That would explain why its not on my world map... If they're so close it wouldnt show :) Maybe Santiago is the formal thing like in the Netherlands?

I had heard about Rhode Island's two captials before someplace. Was the other one Newport?

Brasilia was a great idea, just not executed properly. Quite unfortunate. They should have gone for more practicality and less sybolism about everything. Airplanes belong in the air :)

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I had heard about Rhode Island's two captials before someplace. Was the other one Newport?

Yes.

Brasilia was a great idea, just not executed properly. Quite unfortunate. They should have gone for more practicality and less sybolism about everything. Airplanes belong in the air :)

I've heard that Brazil is doing some work to make Braisilia more accessible for actual people. Many workers in Brasilia live in new cities on Brasilia's outskirts and rely on public transit to access the city. However the city is not built at a scale that allows for public transit or pedestrians. There have been a lot of fatalities of people trying to cross multilane thoroughfares. The government is working to address the problems. However Brasilia will never be one of the world's walkable cities. :(

Japan has talked in the past about moving their capital out of Tokyo. They have a location in the centre of the island picked. The costs of congestion are very high and moving out of Tokyo will save the federal government lots of money. I assume the same is true for Seoul. The Japanese plan has probably been stymied by Japan's long recession.

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The only problem with moving capitals is that development and congestion will follow it. Government is an industry with spurs alot of development.

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This makes me think about Alaska continually talking about moving the capital from Juneau (it's pretty inaccessible to most Alaskans--you can only fly or take the ferry) to the Mat-Su Borough, across from Anchorage. What's weird is that people seem to vote on moving the capital, but then vote against paying for it. They actually have two votes on this issue, and had one as recently as 2 years ago, IIRC.

If Anchorage ever gets that Knik Arm Crossing bridge done, then I think it's only a matter of "when" not "if" the capital moves to the Mat-Su.

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A recent court decison has invalidated the move of the capital further south. As a fallback, only some of the administrative offices will being moving. The idea is to foster more evened economic and population distribution within South Korea. Currently something like 45% of all economic activity happens within Seoul and holds a vast bulk of the population.

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