Park calls for sweeping deregulation on land use

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Feb 19, 2014 - 20:05
  • Updated : Feb 19, 2014 - 20:05
President Park Geun-hye called Wednesday for aggressively lifting or relaxing restrictions related to the use of land, saying such regulations are directly related to investment and easing them is crucial to boosting the economy.

Park made the remark during a joint policy briefing by the land, maritime and environment ministries, saying the three agencies hold the key to success in the government’s deregulation campaign as their land use-related restrictions account for more than one-third of all government regulations.

“Improving regulations on land use is an issue directly linked to investment revitalization, and I think we need active deregulation on that,” Park said, calling for removing all but core regulations.

“Job creation is the most important task for the government now. No matter how hard we call for job creation, however, it is of no use without deregulation,” she said, asking officials to take deregulation to mean job creation.

Park also said that environmental regulations are necessary, but there should be no “excessive” regulations that hurt economic activity. She also called for using science and technology in addressing environmental problems without regulations.

Speaking about the recent oil leaks at sea, Park ordered a thorough investigation into the cause of those accidents to prevent similar cases from happening again. She also said the government should come up with fundamental preventive measures.

She also called for greater cooperation with China to prevent fine dust problems.

During the briefing, the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said it will work to bring back and protect seals at the country’s easternmost islets of Dokdo, a move apparently aimed at boosting the country’s control over the islets also claimed by Japan.

The ministry said it will also seek to strengthen the country’s control over other uninhabited islands.

“Unlike Japan, which even takes control of submerged rocks by constructing various facilities, our control of outermost islands has been somewhat inadequate, while the number of inhabited islands continues to drop,” the ministry said, adding it will build permanent structures such as observation posts on 23 key islands.

The effort to bring back seals to Dokdo will help improve the environment and ecosystem in the area while also strengthening the country’s official control of the islets, it said.

The Dokdo islets have historically been part of South Korean territory, but Japan continues to lay claim to them, citing its brief control of the islets during its 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

South Korea currently maintains a small police detachment on the islets.

The ministry also reported plans to build a regional logistics hub by linking the country’s seaports with major railways of China and Russia.

“The ministry plans to set up a comprehensive network of distribution routes in the Pacific and Northeast Asian region where a massive economic bloc will emerge following the implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” it said.

TPP is a multilateral free trade agreement that currently involves 12 countries, including the United States, Japan and Canada. South Korea, too, is considering participating in the ongoing negotiations for the trade agreement widely seen as a U.S. counter to China’s rise.

The ministry said the distribution network would include new shipping routes through the Arctic, which it will continue to develop for a commercial run starting in 2020. (Yonhap)