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Panel delays decision over whether to OK cable car project on Mt. Seorak

A government panel on Wednesday withheld its decision over whether to approve a controversial project to build a cable car on a mountain range on the country's east coast, officials said.

The project calls for a 3.5-kilometer-long cable car system to be built in the southern region of Mount Seorak in Yangyang, some 215 kilometers east of Seoul.

Activists protest against (left) and for (right) the proposed cable car on Seorak, Wednesday. (Yonhap)
Activists protest against (left) and for (right) the proposed cable car on Seorak, Wednesday. (Yonhap)

It is aimed at offering a means of convenient transportation all the way up to the peak of the Osaek area hiking course, but environmentalists here insist that the project will hurt the mountain's natural environment.

The panel under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism put on hold the decision earlier in the day and will make a final decision later after further review, they said.

The move came as a government arbitration commission in June ruled in favor of a county seeking to set up the cable car.

In December last year, the panel rejected it as the project is feared to do harm to cultural assets and the habitat of the region.

The county of Yangyang has been pushing for the project since 1995. 

The county government had submitted its cable car construction plans in 2012 and 2013, but was rejected both times due to issues that the structure's design could pose a threat to the habitat of some of the wildlife in the area. (Yonhap)

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