President Roh surveys ravaged Busan

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President Roh surveys ravaged Busan

President Roh Moo-hyun traveled yesterday to Busan and Masan, both hard-hit by Typhoon Maemi when it barreled through Korea Friday night.
He ordered steps to repair the damage inflicted by the storm, but faces additional demands from Korea’s political leaders to name some areas in the typhoon’s wake as special disaster recovery zones, where more generous amounts of financial aid would be made available.
Mr. Roh sounded an encouraging note at Singamman port in Busan. “I know some functions here were paralyzed,” he said, “but we can get things back to normal quickly.”
Before his inspection trip, Mr. Roh ordered his aides to scrape every available won out of their coffers to jump-start the recovery work.
Politicians were busy as well. Chyung Dai-chul, chairman of Mr. Roh’s Millennium Democratic Party, also visited Busan yesterday and said the party would seek special disaster funds for the city’s residents.
Hong Sa-duk, floor leader of the Grand National Party, told a press conference he wanted the most damaged area made eligible for those special disaster funds. With that designation in place, affected residents could receive 2 million ($1,700) to 5 million won per person in aid.
The Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs yesterday said it is considering those requests. It also said it would make tax benefits available to the victims of Korea’s most powerful typhoon in the last 100 years of weather records.

by Choi Hoon

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