June 15, 2010 11:27
President Lee Myung-bak said the National Assembly must decide what happens to two controversial state projects -- the Sejong City development plan and four rivers restoration project.
In an address to the nation, Lee said, "I hope that the National Assembly will vote" on Sejong City in the current session. "The government will respect the decision made by the National Assembly."
The Sejong City plan was originally devised under the Roh Moo-hyun administration to create another administrative city for balanced regional development, but the Lee government wants to change the development in South Chungcheong Province into a business hub focusing on education and science.
The speech was broadcast live on TV, radio and the Internet. Lee said that the original plan to relocate some government agencies to Sejong would lead to regrets. "We can't have public opinion further divided and regional discord and political conflict deepening."
He indicated that he will not put the revised plan for Sejong under the whip for the ruling Grand National Party.
The president, however, expressed determination to continue the four rivers project despite resistance from the opposition. "I'm going to make sure that we have more discussions and gather more opinion, but the project will prove a life-saving plan and the driving force for the country's development."
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