Majority Oppose Capital Relocation Plan

  • By Choi Yeon-jin

    August 03, 2020 09:47

    A majority of Koreans favor keeping Seoul as the administrative capital over moving it entirely to Sejong City, a poll suggests.

    In the poll published by Gallup Korea last week, 49 percent of respondents support Seoul as the capital compared to 42 percent who support the relocation plan.

    In a similar poll in December 2003, when the plan first got underway, supporters and opponents were neck and neck at 44 percent vs. 43 percent.

    The issue has been revived as the government's attempts to tame real-estate prices backfired. Minjoo Party floor leader Kim Tae-nyeon on July 20 claimed there is now broad public support of up to 60 percent for completing the move of the administrative capital to Sejong City.

    Pedestrians cross a road in Gwanghwamun, Seoul on July 27. /Yonhap

    An opposition spokesman said the poll "shows how many people have negative views of the relocation plan that was hastily brought up by the ruling party to make up for its real estate policy fiasco."

    But respondents gave contradictory answers to some specific questions. Supporters of relocating the National Assembly to Sejong City easily outnumbered opponents by 47 percent to 39 percent. But 48 percent opposed the relocation of Cheong Wa Dae out of Seoul compared to 38 percent in favor.

    Yoon Tae-gon, a political analyst, said, "Many people seem to believe that Cheong Wa Dae should stay in Seoul as it symbolizes the country, but fewer people seem to oppose the relocation of the National Assembly because there have already been discussions on moving of administrative offices."

    The Constitution states that Seoul is the capital of Korea, which resulted in the full-scale relocation plans being watered down after a Constitutional Court ruling in 2004, but does not specify what that entails.

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