Yoon pledges to ‘rebuild’ Seoul and move railways underground

Presidential candidate Yoon Suk-yeol of the main opposition People Power Party announced on Sunday plans to “rebuild” Seoul, revamping urban spaces and moving railroads and highways underground.

During a press briefing, Yoon outlined four pillars of vision with nine detailed commitments for Seoul, including plans to provide some 500,000 new housing units and to make the city a global hub for financial firms and startups. .

“I will create Seoul to be more refreshing by moving the railways and highways from the surface to the underground, and providing faster and more convenient transportation services,” Yoon said.

Its rail relocation plan includes all 19 stations from Dangjeong Station in Gyeonggi Province to Seoul Station, 19 stations from Guro Station to Dowon Station, and 11 stations from Cheongnyangni Station to Dobongsan Station. .

According to Yoon’s plan, portions from Yangjae IC to Hannam IC of the Gyeongbu Expressway will also be rerouted underground, as part of a plan to improve the heavily congested road.

Spaces where railroads and highways are removed would be turned into residential and work spaces and parks, the candidate said. The project is expected to create some 200,000 new jobs, Yoon’s campaign team said.

The presidential candidate would also extend the DX line to areas north of Seoul. DX Line is a subway line that currently runs from Gangnam Station to Gwanggyo Station in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province.

The presidential candidate also outlined plans to make Seoul the hub of finance and a nest for startups.

Yoon proposed designating Yeouido, a district in Seoul where major financial institutes are located, as a special financial district and establishing an Asian stock exchange there.

Geumcheon-gu in southwest Seoul would be labeled “K-Startup County” and transformed into a startup center for young entrepreneurs, Yoon said, adding that he would come up with a state-run system to foster unicorn businesses, or those worth more than a dollar. billion.

Besides the city’s reconstruction plans, Yoon also vowed to adopt “science-based” social distancing regulations for preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic, allegedly unlike those of the incumbent administration.

“It’s not like COVID-19 is moving more actively after 9 p.m. The risk of infection is reduced when people wear masks, so it (doesn’t make sense) to adopt the vaccine pass in libraries and grocery stores where they buy books and goods,” said Yoon, referring to the government’s ban on opening shops after 9 p.m.

“Preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic must be science-based and must be balanced.”

For indoor spaces where masks are worn at all times and people do not talk much, such as libraries, museums, theaters and religious establishments, the vaccination pass system – requiring proof of vaccination for the entry – would be deleted, the presidential candidate mentioned.

Yoon promised to also relax social distancing measures for indoor spaces such as restaurants, cafes and karaoke rooms if they meet specific ventilation requirements that the candidate intends to prepare later.

By Jo Herim ([email protected])

Bonny J. Streater