[EDITORIALS]Let’s move forward wiselyIt is expected that the Constitutional Court’s ruling striking down a special law regarding the relocation of the nation’s capital will have many repercussions.
Citizens of South Chungcheong province, who have been anticipating a relocation of the capital to their province, are agitated. The ruling also upsets the government’s plan to balance national development, which hinged upon the capital being relocated. The government has to come up with a plan to reduce all the turmoil surrounding the decision.
Above all, the government needs to devise a plan that could calm the overhyped atmosphere that was created in South Chungcheong province because of all the talk about relocating the capital there. A plan needs to be provided by the government that could soothe the despondent feelings of the citizens of South Chungcheong province.
Considering that the relocation of the capital was designed to be part of a plan to develop the peninsula in a balanced way, another plan needs to be devised to develop the Chungcheong region.
Regardless of the capital relocation issue, it is a serious problem that the bulk of the development and economic activity in South Korea is focused on Seoul and its environs. Such a heavy concentration of resources and people there is influencing our nation’s competitiveness in a negative way.
But the plan to relocate the capital to solve this problem was just too expensive, and that is why the public was against it. Also, whether such a move would have been effective in rebalancing development in the country was far from certain.
Even though the court turned down Mr. Roh’s plan, we should not stop trying to find a way to solve the concentration of the nation’s infrastructure around the Seoul metropolitan area.
The current plans to develop new metropolitan areas outside of Seoul and to relocate some public organizations and government agencies to the provinces were all based on the assumption of a relocation of the administrative capital. We need to revise these plans so that we have a realistic way to develop our nation in a balanced way.
In addition, the political and social turmoil resulting from the Constitutional Court’s decision could spell trouble for our economy. The social uncertainties that have frozen investment may grow even more. The government and politicians need to cooperate so that political and social unrest coming from the Constitutional Court’s decision can be minimized.