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Pres. Lee: I Won`t Pursue Grand Canal Project

Posted June. 30, 2009 08:13,   


President Lee Myung-bak reaffirmed yesterday that he will not pursue the cross-country canal project while in office.

In his biweekly radio address to the nation, he said, “I still believe the Republic of Korea needs the cross-country canal project for the future of the country. The core of the project is connecting the Han and Nakdong rivers. But my administration has no plans to connect them and the project will not be launched in my term.”

On June 19 last year, the president had told a news conference that he would not start the project if the Korean people were opposed. Yesterday, however, was the first time he officially announced the unconditional scrapping of the project.

President Lee said he will proceed with the project to restore the country’s four major rivers, saying, “We cannot let rivers, the most important resource of the 21st century, go unattended.”

“I feel Korea cannot be upgraded without overcoming political and social conflict and division. The pragmatic center that I refer is not something great. What I mean is that we should work together in a way that contributes to the country without causing conflict and fighting each other and help the lower and middle class.”

He also mentioned a possible amnesty for petty criminals on Liberation Day Aug. 15. “I will consider granting a special pardon to professional drivers who got their driver’s licenses revoked,” he said.