• Mayor Oh Decides To Continue Gwanghwamun Renovation Project
Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon holds an online briefing at City Hall on April 27, 2021. (Photo: Yonhap News)

Seoul Mayor Oh Se-hoon says the city will continue forward with a controversial refurbishment plan for the landmark Gwanghwamun Square in the downtown area.

Mayor Oh explained the reasoning behind his decision during an online briefing Tuesday, saying 34 percent of the project had already been completed with some 25 billion won spent since construction began last November.

The project is aimed at reducing car lanes and increasing walking space around the Square.

Oh said he feared a new review of the project could create more inconveniences and public disputes.

The mayor also highlighted the historical significance of restoring the old "woldae," a Joseon-era ceremonial platform, in front of Gyeongbokgung Palace, which was damaged during the Japanese occupation.

Oh heavily criticized the Gwanghwamun renovation project last year, before he ran for mayor, sparking speculation he might scrap or reverse it.

Gwanghwamun Square was built in 2009, during Oh's previous term as Seoul mayor.

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