(LEAD) Ruling party pledges to relocate National Assembly to Sejong

SEOUL, The ruling People Power Party will seek to relocate the National Assembly to the central city of Sejong, leader Han Dong-hoon said Wednesday, a campaign pledge ahead of the April 10 general elections. Han said the relocation will help strengthen Sejong's status as an administrative and political capital akin to Washington, D.C., and enable the further development of the current Assembly site and surrounding areas in Seoul's Yeouido. The pledge was seen as aimed at wooing voters in Seoul, Sejong and the surrounding Chungcheong regions. "We will bring an end to politics in Yeouido by fully relocating the National Assembly to Sejong, turning the National Assembly building into a new landmark for Seoul citizens and lifting development restrictions in Seoul, including Yeouido and its surrounding areas," Han told reporters. Han emphasized that there is sufficient land available in Sejong to accommodate the parliament building, saying the envisioned plan is expected to reduce wasted administrative costs, promote balanced regional development and revitalize the local economy. "Sejong will become a true capital of politics and administration, just like Washington, D.C., of the United States," Han said. Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon welcomed the plan, calling the current Assembly site in Yeouido an optimal place for a top-notch green ecological park, while vowing to tear down the National Assembly wall to make it easily accessible for all citizens. The site could be transformed into a must-visit place not only for Yeouido residents but also for all Seoul citizens, Oh said, pointing to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and the Singapore Botanic Gardens as examples. Oh also said the relocation of the National Assembly to Sejong would naturally scrap the height limit for residential buildings in the western Yeouido area, paving the way for Yeouido to become the financial hub of Asia in line with Oh's vision for the city. Source: Yonhap News Agency