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Korea's new administrative center: Sejong City

The Korean government has declared a "new era of the Government Complex-Sejong" at a ceremony to mark the moving of central government organizations to the new location in the Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City, or Sejong City, on December 23.

Prime Minister Chung Hongwon said at the ceremony, “Now that the second phase of the moving process is complete, the government will strive to usher in a new era of balanced development and win-win cooperation as the local economy actively participates in the development of Sejong City.”

The new seven-story government complex, complete with basement, has a gross floor area of 213,000 square meters and was completed on November 16, 2013. It started construction on a 140,000 square-meter plot of land in northeastern Chungcheongnam-do (South Chungcheong Province) in November 2011.

Prime Minister Chung Hongwon, Minister of Security & Public Administration Yoo Jeong-bok and other officials attend the ceremony to mark the central government organizations’ moving to the new Government Complex-Sejong on December 23. (Photo: Jeon Han)

Prime Minister Chung Hongwon, Minister of Security & Public Administration Yoo Jeong-bok and other officials attend the ceremony to mark the central government organizations’ moving to the new Government Complex-Sejong on December 23. (Photo: Jeon Han)


Prime Minister Chung Hongwon addresses the audience during the opening ceremony of the Government Complex-Sejong on December 23. (Photo: Jeon Han)

Prime Minister Chung Hongwon addresses the audience during the opening ceremony of the Government Complex-Sejong on December 23. (Photo: Jeon Han)


The Government Complex Sejong is the new home for 4,888 civil servants from ten central government organizations: the ministries of culture, sports and tourism; trade, industry and energy; health and welfare; employment and labor; and, patriots and veterans affairs. The 17-day move takes place from December 13 to 29. With this phase of moving, the total number of civil servants in the new government complex has reached about 10,000 and covers 31 organizations. So far, ten out of the total 17 central government organizations have moved to the Government Complex-Sejong, with state-funded research institutes having started the move in 2011. The shift to the new administrative city now being almost complete, the government’s new era at the Government Complex-Sejong is in full effect.

The new government complex is equipped with high-end technological facilities, including video conference rooms, control rooms and CCTVs, to boost administrative efficiency. Being powered by geothermal heat and sunlight, it also features gyms, medical facilities, cafeterias and multipurpose rooms.

A view of the new National Library of Korea, Sejong branch, which opened on December 12. (Photo: Jeon Han)

A view of the new National Library of Korea, Sejong branch, which opened on December 12. (Photo: Jeon Han)


Buildings at the Government Complex-Sejong to where the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Education recently moved. (Photo: Jeon Han)

Buildings at the Government Complex-Sejong to where the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and Education recently moved. (Photo: Jeon Han)


Civil servants in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism get accustomed to their desks in the Government Complex-Sejong after recently moving into the new building. (Photo: Jeon Han)

Civil servants in the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism get accustomed to their desks in the Government Complex-Sejong after recently moving into the new building. (Photo: Jeon Han)


“Since the beginning of construction in 2007, we have completed a total of 82 projects, including the new government complex and the National Library of Korea, Sejong branch. We still have 154 construction projects underway, including the presidential archives, an administrative support center, the expansion of six intercity roads and the building of three local community centers, as well as various other cultural and welfare centers,” said Chairman Lee Choongjae of the Multifunctional Administrative City Construction Agency. Since 2007, the agency has administered KRW 10.8 trillion, 48 percent of the total allocated budget of KRW 22.5 trillion, injecting some KRW 1.5 trillion into the local economy every year.

“For the second stage move, we have been smoothly carrying out infrastructure construction across the city, including the construction of government buildings, houses and roads. The exterior and content of the city has changed enormously when compared to previous years, with the city showing rapid growth,” Chairman Lee added.

The population of the Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City rose to 32,000 in late 2013, from 20,000 the year before. The city’s population has shown a 36-fold increase since late 2011, when the city had 875 people living there. In the second half of 2014, the third stage of the move will bring to the new city a final 2,268 public officers from six organizations, including the Ministry of Government Legislation, the Anti-Corruption & Civil Rights Commission, the National Tax Service and the National Emergency Management Agency. After the third phase of moving, the number of civil servants employed in the complex will reach 13,000 and spread across 37 government organizations.

By Wi Tack-whan, Yoon Sojung
Korea.net Staff Writers
whan23@korea.kr

Officials from the MCST unveil the signboard at the Government Complex-Sejong on December 23. (Photo courtesy of MCST)

Officials from the MCST unveil the signboard at the Government Complex-Sejong on December 23. (Photo courtesy of MCST)


Civil servants from the MCST mark their moving-in day at the new government complex in Sejong City on December 23. (Photo courtesy of MCST)

Civil servants from the MCST mark their moving-in day at the new government complex in Sejong City on December 23. (Photo courtesy of MCST)


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The Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City is a special administrative city located in the middle of Korea. The city is connected to Daejeon in the south, to Gongju, Chungcheongnam-do (South Chungcheong Province), in the west, to Chungju, Chungcheongbuk-do (North Chungcheong Province), in the east and to Cheonan, South Chungcheong Province, in the north. To achieve the balanced development of the country as a whole and to solve the overcrowding of the country’s main metropolitan area, the central government pushed forward the development of the Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City. Government organizations, many of which were located in Seoul and in Gwacheon, Gyeonggi-do (Gyeonggi Province), began moving into the Government Complex-Sejong in 2012. The move will be completed in 2014. On July 1, 2012, all of the former county of Yeongi-gun was merged with parts from Gongju and the county of Cheongwon-gun to create the new Sejong Metropolitan Autonomous City. The name of the city is taken from the fourth king of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), King Sejong the Great (r. 1418-1450).

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