Howls greet plan to move 2 agencies

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Howls greet plan to move 2 agencies

Administration officials and their Saenuri Party allies in the National Assembly yesterday confirmed their plans to relocate two ministries to the special administrative city of Sejong this year.

But the decision is expected to draw fire from other local governments that had hoped to have the two bodies inside their city limits.

Saenuri’s members of the Assembly’s Security and Public Administration Committee and the Ministry of Security and Public Administration met at the Assembly yesterday to go over plans to move the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning to Sejong City.

“During the meeting, we agreed on the relocation plan in principle,” said Hwang Young-cheul, a Saenuri lawmaker, after the meeting.

Referring to the expected backlash from other governments that have bid to become the homes of the two ministries,

Hwang said the party will hold a public hearing on the matter in accordance with policy notification procedures before submitting the plan for President Park Geun-hye’s approval.

The agreement on the relocation drew a quick protest from city officials in Gwacheon, where the Future Ministry is now situated in the sprawling Gwacheon Government Complex.

“Gwacheon was recovering from damage done by the relocation of other central government branches to Sejong thanks to the settlement of the Future Ministry here,” said Yeo In-kook, the city’s mayor, yesterday at a press briefing.

He demanded that the government rescind the relocation agreement.

Busan is also expected to weigh in because the move by the fisheries ministry to Sejong would break a campaign promise by President Park when she was campaigning for office last year.

Then as Saenuri Party’s presidential candidate in the last year’s election, she said she would move the ministry to the nation’s second city and largest maritime port.

Ha Tae-keung of the Saenuri Party, who represents Busan’s Haewondae/Gijang-B District, released a statement yesterday condemning the relocation decision, saying it was “regrettable” that the matter was settled without consultation with the city and its citizens.”

He also called for the withdrawal of the decision, and pointedly reminded the central government of Park’s pledge to make Busan the center of the maritime industry in Northeast Asia.

The Fisheries Ministry is currently in Sejong City in temporary housing.

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