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Yoon Vows to Continue Supporting Busan’s Development after Expo Loss

Written: 2023-11-29 14:14:08Updated: 2023-11-29 15:13:28

Yoon Vows to Continue Supporting Busan’s Development after Expo Loss

Photo : YONHAP News

Anchor: Riyadh has been chosen to host the 2030 World Expo. Representatives of the Bureau International des Expositions(BIE) held a final vote in Paris on Tuesday, electing the capital of Saudi Arabia over South Korea's port city of Busan and Italy's Rome. In the wake of the disappointing announcement, President Yoon Suk Yeol held a news conference, promising continued support for Busan’s development.
Kim Bum-soo has more.


[Sound bite: Saudi delegation celebrating win]

Campaigning for the city of Busan to host the 2030 World Expo, South Korea hoped for a come-from-behind victory against Riyadh in a runoff one-on-one showdown.

The Saudi Arabian capital city, however, clinched the victory outright on Tuesday, garnering a two-thirds majority in the first round of votes as Busan fell far behind with only 29 ballots while Italy’s Rome secured just 17.

[Sound bite: Dimitri Kerkentzes - Secretary General of Bureau International des Expositions (English)]
"I've been here for 20 years. In my career I have never seen a competition of more than two candidates finishing in the first round with two-thirds, so this is in the 20 years I have been here."

Following the disappointing announcement overnight from Paris, President Yoon Suk Yeol held an apologetic news conference on Wednesday, and promised to continue pursuing balanced regional development of the country, which he sought to achieve by hosting a World Expo in the nation's second-largest city in the southern coast.

[Soundbite: President Yoon Suk Yeol (Korean-English)]
"I, as president, should be blamed for the lack of leadership. The bid to host the Expo in Busan wasn't just for its development but an attempt to promote the nation's growth by ensuring balanced regional development centering around the two axes of Seoul and Busan."
"Our bid to host the Expo has failed, but our pursuit of balanced development in the country will continue."

The South Korean president also congratulated Saudi Arabia, calling the kingdom a core partner.

[Soundbite: President Yoon Suk Yeol (Korean-English)]
"I would like to sincerely congratulate Saudi Arabia, a core partner country, for winning the bid it wanted. We would like to provide Saudi Arabia with the knowledge that we gained while campaigning for Busan's bid and other assets we have to help the successful hosting of the World Expo 2030."

The World Expo 2030 will be held between October 1, 2030 and March 31, 2031 under the theme, “The Era of Change: Together for a Foresighted Tomorrow.”

Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon, meanwhile, said that the city will consider bidding to host the 2035 World Expo.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

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