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[Herald Interview] Yang Seung-jo seeks reelection to complete pending work

Yang Seung-jo, the Democratic Party candidate for the South Chungcheong gubernatorial election (Yonhap)
Yang Seung-jo, the Democratic Party candidate for the South Chungcheong gubernatorial election (Yonhap)

Yang Seung-jo, the Democratic Party’s candidate for the South Chungcheong gubernatorial election, said he aims to win a second term in the upcoming local election to complete what he started for the province’s more robust and balanced economic development.

“South Chungcheong Province needs a governor with capability and experience for the region’s development without discontinuity,” Yang said, expressing hopes for a second term in an email interview with The Korea Herald. “I have run restlessly to make better South Chungcheong Province over the last four years and found keys to issues and long-cherished projects that require to be done. Now is the time for me to complete them.”

Yang said he plans to establish strong economic fundamentals, if elected, so that the province can continue to prosper in the future.

The candidate pledged to create a research and development site in an area between Cheonan and Asan. He also said he would connect the Seohae Line railway with the Gyeongbu high-speed railway and build a new airport in Seosan to improve access to the province. Yang added that he would persuade more state-led institutions to relocate their bases to South Chungcheong Province.

Yang promised to establish a local bank as well, through which the local government aims to provide financial services that can help small and mid-sized businesses, as well as those in need. Opening a local bank will also help the region prevent potential capital outflow, according to Yang.

The potential local bank is also part of a bigger plan to create a megacity in the Chungcheong area, joined by the governments of both South and North Chungcheong Province, as well as Daejeon and Sejong, the main cities in the Chungcheon region

According to Yang, the introduction of the new bank and establishment of an extensive traffic network that encompasses the Chungcheong region would allow the region to gain competitiveness and contribute to a balanced regional development.

Yang argued that it is difficult for an individual city or a local government to contribute to the country’s balanced regional development. The megacity scheme, however, can provide enough impetus for the balanced development goal, through bringing individual regions together, he added.

Regarding his relation to the Yoon Suk-yeol administration, Yang noted that he would seek cooperation with the central government. Yang said the local government is in a position to execute plans of the central government. Yang added that “a capable person” thus should be in charge of running local governments, and he is the right person.

“I think people want Yang Seung-jo’s second term as the governor for both stability and continuity in the government affairs of South Chungcheong Province,” Yang said.

Regarding his competition with Kim Tae-heum, the candidate of the ruling People Power Party, Yang said he has a crucial edge over Kim, having served as the governor over the recent four years.

Recent polls showed that Yang and Kim were running neck and neck with Yang’s single-digit lead.

By Shim Woo-hyun (ws@heraldcorp.com)
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