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Jeju officially named one of new 7 wonders

Korea’s Jeju Island was officially proclaimed one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature this week, as the chief of the Swiss-based organization congratulated Jeju via an email, officials here said Thursday.

According to Korea’s National Committee for Jeju New7Wonders of Nature, Bernard Weber, chairman of the New7Wonders Foundation, sent an email to the head of the committee Chung Un-chan to inform him of the official result.

Jeju became one of the provisional winners earlier this month, but the foundation had yet to make an official announcement confirming the results of the voting that was conducted via the Internet and phone calls from July 2009 through Nov. 11 this year.

Jeju beat 21 other candidates and became one of the new seven wonders along with the Amazon in Brazil, Halong Bay in Vietnam, Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Komodo National Park in Indonesia, Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines and Table Mountain in South Africa.

After the provisional announcement earlier this month, the foundation appointed its audit company BDO for the verification of the voting, to prove its transparency and fairness, Weber said in the email.

“We audited Jeju following the 21 finalists who were not included in the provisional New 7 Wonders of the Nature, as we understand it is quite a controversial issue in Korea,” the chairman added, noting the disputes here over the credibility of the vote.

“From the audit, we finally can say that Jeju is confirmed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the Nature,” said Weber. “There will be a successive announcement when the audit is finished. And the final confirmation will be announced on our website when it is ready in January.”

He is “impressed by the passion” shown by the Korean people, Weber added, asking Chung to start preparing the inauguration event which will be announced after the foundation discusses details with each of the new seven wonders.

By Shin Hae-in  (hayney@heraldcorp.com)
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