Pocheon Mayor Park Youn-kook explained that during the past year, Pocheon, a city in northern Gyeonggi Province, has achieved “great achievements” in multiple aspects. He drew attention to the planned extension of Seoul Subway Line 7 to Pocheon and the plan to construct a pumped storage hydroelectric (PSH) power station in the city. “All this was possible thanks to the strong support of our 150,000 Pocheon citizens. I will try to make Pocheon City become a better place to live," he said. The following is a summary of an interview with Mayor Park:
Question: Could you talk about the expansion of the traffic network in Pocheon? What kind of role can Pocheon play in South-North Korean economic cooperation?
Answer: Pocheon is making every effort to evolve into a hub city for inter-Korean economic cooperation. In preparation for the development of the inter-Korean border area and inter-Korean economic cooperation, the municipal government is pushing for expansion of its transportation infrastructure and industrial facilities as the city's biggest priority projects. The city will work hard for strengthening inter-Korean economic ties, as well as balanced urban development.
The central government’s long-term development projects, which were finalized in January this year, included the project to extend Seoul Subway Line 7 to Pocheon from Dobongsan, northern Seoul. The achievement was considered as a valuable result of the 150,000 Pocheon citizens' courage and one voice. The city will push for the completion of the subway line extension project by 2026 in line with the government’s wide-area railroad construction project.
Q: Will the planned construction of pumped storage hydroelectric (PSH) power station have any positive impact on the local economy?
A: This project, which is viewed as a positive new growth engine, will help promote the local economy. A 750-MW PSH power station will be built in Dopyeong-ri, Lidong-myeon, Pocheon City. Pocheon City was selected as the site for the new PSH station in accordance with the central government's basic plan to expand the supply of renewable energy and stabilize power supply and demand. The total economic benefits for Pocheon are estimated at 1,689 billion won. Moreover, the project is expected to help revitalize the local economy, including the creation of jobs and influx of personnel needed for PSH station construction and operation
Q: What kind of projects are you planning to carry out to make Pocheon a green city?
A: The Hantan River National Geopark in Pocheon opened in April this year. The Geopark, which is considered as a tourist hub around the Hantan River, is Korea’s only geological park museum that can offer valuable information on the Hantan River. Pocheon City, where the National Arboretum is designated as a UNESCO biosphere reserve, is a city of forests and water where visitors can enjoy clear and green eco-tourism. The Geopak is set to be developed as the city's top ecological tourist attraction.
Q: Could you explain about the city's welfare policy?.
A: Pocheon is seeking to develop an effective welfare system for citizens, including senior citizens and war veterans. Of note, the city pays 100,000 won to each war veteran every month. The Pocheon Veterans' Center, which opened in May, was newly constructed to enhance the honors of war veterans and their families. The Veterans’ Center will be utilize as a space for communication between ordinary citizens and war veterans, as well as an educational space for all citizens. During the second part of this year, a cultural space will be dedicated for all citizens.