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Pres. Lee Announces River Cleanup Project

Posted December. 01, 2008 03:38,   


President Lee Myung-bak has said he will pursue a project to clean up four major rivers in the country.

“Even if many people criticize a project, we have to pursue it if it can be a big help to the nation,” he was quoted as saying by one of his aides in a meeting with about 40 presidential secretaries held at the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae Friday.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a project to repair the nation’s four rivers or the grand canal project running through the nation. Regardless of the project’s name, we should pursue the work as soon as possible since the budget has been allocated.”

This is the first time for President Lee to publicly stress the significance of the river cleaning project. The main opposition party has criticized his administration’s pursuit of the grand canal project for trying to disguise it under the slogan of “repairing and clearing the nation’s four rivers.”

The Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry has earmarked 480 billion won (326.7 million U.S. dollars) to repair and clean the Han, Nakdong, Yeongsan and Geumgang rivers.

Another aide to President Lee said, “He mentioned the project to repair and clean four major rivers while urging his secretaries to perform the work assigned to them well. But this had nothing to do with the grand canal project.”

More ruling party members say Korea needs a large-scale construction project to boost the economy. They add a small amount of social overhead capital investment is not enough, and that given economic difficulties, large construction projects such as the grand canal will be helpful.