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Traffic builds up on highways as people return to Seoul from Lunar New Year holiday

Traffic builds up on Jamwon IC Gyeongbu Expressway on Friday. (Yonhap)
Traffic builds up on Jamwon IC Gyeongbu Expressway on Friday. (Yonhap)

Traffic on major highways started to build up nationwide Monday morning, as millions of South Koreans started to return to Seoul on the third day of the four-day Lunar New Year holiday.

This year's holiday, one of the country's largest, started Saturday, with the annual exodus of people from Seoul and its surrounding areas to their hometowns for Lunar New Year, which fell on Sunday.

With the extended holiday ending Tuesday, those same people began making their way back to the nation's capital Monday.

According to the state-run Korea Expressway Corp., traffic toward Seoul was expected to peak around 4-5 p.m. Monday, and it will likely ease around 2-3 a.m. Tuesday.

A drive from the southeastern port city of Busan to Seoul, 325 kilometers in distance, was expected to take about six hours and 10 minutes as of 9 a.m. From Gangneung, 168 km east of the capital, the drive was expected to take two hours and 40 minutes.

The Korea Expressway Corp. estimated 5.13 million vehicles would hit the road Monday. (Yonhap)
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