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Gov’t to Promote 4-River Cleanup Project

Posted December. 10, 2008 05:28,   


The government said yesterday that Lee Dong-woo, first public relations secretary, and officials of the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry held a meeting on promoting river cleanup project Sunday.

At the meeting, Lee said, “We have to suggest a new concept of ‘environmental management’ standing between ‘destruction’ and ‘preservation’ to the media. By doing so, we can control the media preemptively.”

“Preserving rivers is no different from neglecting the health of rivers. Rivers should be cleaned up just like cholesterol accumulating in the human body should be removed.”

Lee said the government should first conduct opinion polls to determine the strength of its promotion strategy. The ministry agreed and announced a two-day survey this week and promotion plans.

On the justification for the cleanup, the government said the project can help alleviate water shortages and river contamination since it plans to invest an equal amount that went into repairing flood damage over the past decade.

Other benefits of the project include job creation and contribution to aggregate production.

The government is also considering asking those who opposed the grand canal project to write about the river cleanup. If scholars who were against the canal project write positive articles on the cleanup, they will be a big help in swaying public opinion, an official said.

But, Lee also warned against aggressive promotion of the cleanup, saying, “Promotion may backfire. When I had a luncheon with President Lee Myung-bak, I told him no promotion can be an effective promotion strategy sometimes.’”

The government plans to invest 14 trillion won (9.6 billion U.S. dollars) into cleaning up four major rivers by 2012. The main opposition party is demanding a smaller budget for the project.