The presidential office has lamented the "disappointing result" after the nation’s bid to host the World Expo 2030 in the southern port city of Busan came well short.
Presidential spokesperson Kim Eun-hye issued the position in a statement early on Wednesday right after the Bureau International des Expositions(BIE), the organizing authority of the World Expo, announced that Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh had taken the honor.
Kim said that the South Korean government and private sector worked hard as a team to win the bid, expressing gratitude toward the citizens of Busan and the public who stayed up late to see the results.
Prime Minister Han Duck-soo, who led the bidding campaign, also expressed disappointment but thanked all who supported it.
Han apologized for failing to meet the public's expectations and said he feels a heavy sense of responsibility, adding that the government will continue to build on diplomatic assets gained by engaging with 182 countries during the campaign.
In the final vote on Tuesday in Paris, Riyadh garnered a total of 119 votes while Busan won 29 and Italy’s Rome secured 17 votes of participating BIE representatives.