President Moon Jae-in has decided to preserve the "greenbelt" development restriction zones around Seoul, dismissing a call for using parts of the areas as land for the construction of housing, the prime minister's office said Monday.
Moon revealed the position during a weekly meeting with Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun, it said in a press release.
They agreed instead to strive to find available sites in land owned by the state and public institutions, it added.
The government is searching for land to construct apartments in response to soaring housing prices in Seoul and nearby cities, an issue that has taken a heavy toll on its popularity.
Some raised the idea of lifting the greenbelt regulations as an option for a massive and relatively quick housing supply in the densely populated areas.
The decision came after a recent poll showed that 6 out of 10 South Koreans are against damaging the remaining greenbelt that is decades old.
In the poll of 1,000 people, aged 18 or older, across the nation last Friday, 60.4 percent of respondents said it's "unnecessary" to develop the greenbelt, while 26.5 percent said it's needed to do so to help stabilize the housing market, Realmeter said.
On the proposed use of the Taereung golf course run by the Army in northeastern Seoul for constructing new apartments, related ministries and local government authorities plan to continue consultations, according to Chung's office. (Yonhap)