[EDITORIALS]Reasons for move still validMoving the nation’s capital from Seoul has been made practically impossible with the Constituional Court’s decision. But it doesn’t negate the logical reasons for the move ― alleviating population density in the Seoul area and promoting a more balanced development of the nation. And it is necessary that the government come up with a plan to console Chungcheong residents for their sense of loss and disappointment.
Concerning balanced development, the court’s decision provides a turning point for establishing a new strategy, looking back on the problems that were missed in the turmoil over the capital move. We urge the government to recover quickly from the shock and establish a completely new plan for the balanced development of the nation, recognizing that it is a task that should be pursued consistently regardless of whether the capital is moved.
First of all, the framework for balanced development must be made in the context of our relations with neighboring countries. Considering our future economic cooperation with China, Japan and Russia ―not to mention North Korea, which has started to open its doors to economic exchange with us ―Seoul must establish a strategy for territorial development. Along with re-development of national territory, we must restructure our industries. For example, we have to consider to what extent our manufacturing industry should be accommodated, and which areas are suitable for different industrial fields. By creating a long belt of tourist resorts along the southern coastline, we can make the area competitive with Seoul, productivity-wise. We can also discuss how to develop Saemangeum.
Above all, we hope the government will study a variety of plans for the Gongju-Yeonggi area, such as inviting universities in Seoul to move there, creating a fourth administrative town after Gwacheon and Daedok, or moving some public institutions there, to soothe the wounds of these Koreans who were inspired by the hope of becoming the nation’s capital.