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Protesters fight spread of love hotels

Posted August. 22, 2000 14:42,   


Nearly 400 residents of Ilsan and members of civic groups staged a rally August 21 in front of Koyang City Hall to stem the rising number of so-called ¡°love hotels,¡± calling for resignation of the mayor and school superintendent.

The day`s rally was organized by a joint committee for the prevention of love hotels in Koyang City, consisting of seven civic groups including Koyang Women`s Society, Koyang Citizen`s Society and apartment residents at Daeahwa-dong and Baeksuk-dong, where hotels are concentrated.

They shouted slogans such as, "How come love hotels are being built in front of schools?" or, "Is a pleasant country town turning into an amusement quarter?" They called for the ouster of the mayor and school superintendent, who failed to work out measures to tackle the current situation, as growing number of love hotels are being built around schools and apartments.

Koyang City Mayor Hwang Kyo-Sun had a discussion with residents at around 11:40 a.m. and told them that the city was trying all its efforts with administrative force to limit construction of love hotels. However, he also noted that if it tries to block them to the degree that the law allows, it could trigger a lawsuit and could result is wasting the taxpayers¡¯ money. "We will try to solve the problem under the legal framework," he said.

Currently, a total of 35 hotels are in operation or under construction near the No. 3 subway line stations at Daehwa, Juyup and Baeksuk.

"A growing number of love hotels are being built in an area where we can see them from apartments and schools,¡± Kim In-Sook, head of Koyang Women`s Society said. ¡°But the city has no countermeasure for it. Unless the mayor offers measures to prevent the construction of hotels in the region, we will stage a full-scale campaign for the resignation of the mayor."

Citizens at the rally listened to the mayor`s remarks and were voluntarily dispersed at around 1 p.m. after making four demands: dismissal of the head of the city construction department, establishment of a plan for not allowing hotels in the region, cancellation of hotel construction that hampers life environment and immediate closure of love hotels operating within school zones.

Lee Dong-Young argus@donga.com