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37,000 Jamboree participants relocated amid typhoon threat
Discussing jamboree's impact on S. Korea's 2030 World Expo bid not appropriate now, PM saysBy Shin Ji-hye
Published : Aug. 8, 2023 - 15:18
Escorted by police helicopters and patrol cars, some 37,000 World Scout Jamboree attendees from 156 nations left the campsite on reclaimed land in Buan, North Jeolla Province, on Tuesday, for alternative accomodation offered by eight municipalities across the country.
For the massive departure of Scouts, over 1,000 buses were mobilized with the government deploying four police helicopters and 273 patrol cars to ensure their safety, according to the interior minister.
“The evacuation is part of an emergency response to protect the global youth participating in the jamboree from the disaster situation of the typhoon,” Interior Minister Lee Sang-min said at a briefing at the Saemangeum Press Center in Buan.
The mission of relocating jamboree participants was being carried out “in close cooperation with” the Jamboree Organizing Committee, the World Organization of the Scout Movement and delegations from each country, he added.
A total of 3,133 participants from eight countries are staying at 17 accommodations across Seoul, and 13,568 people from 88 countries are staying at 64 accommodations in Gyeonggi Province. In Incheon, 3,257 people from 27 countries are staying at eight locations, while in Daejeon, 1,355 people from two countries are staying at six accommodations.
In Sejong, 716 people from two countries are staying in three accommodations, and in North Chungcheong Province, 2,710 people from three countries are staying at seven accommodations. In South Chungcheong Province, 6,274 people from 18 countries are staying at 18 accommodations, and 5,541 people from 10 countries remain in North Jeolla Province.
Countries including Indonesia, Portugal, Bangladesh, Poland, Malaysia, India, Egypt, Ecuador, Ireland and Mongolia remain in North Jeolla Province, according to local news reports citing the WOSM. Many participants from Arab countries are reported to have decided to remain nearby, judging that halal food delivery was smooth.
Because they “needed to leave” Saemangeum immediately with the typhoon approaching the peninsula, relocation destinations were decided “randomly,” the interior minister said.
“For the remaining four nights and five days, the government will continue to operate the jamboree program for the participants and allow them to accumulate the jamboree experience,” Lee said. “We will do our best so that participants can safely and happily experience Korea until the moment they leave the country and finish the rest of the schedule with a joyful heart.”
When asked about main issues behind the event's failures, Family Minister Kim Hyun-sook pointed to bad sanitation in the toilets and issues with overall cleanliness. A spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, who moderated the briefing, however, said the question was irrelevant to the briefing and that the government had no reason to answer.
Also in response to a question about the potential impact of the jamboree chaos on Busan's bid to host the 2030 World Expo, which will be decided in November, Prime Minister Han Duck-soo said, “It is not a situation to evaluate such a thing now.”
Han added that there will be opportunities to hear from people who attended the jamboree or the country’s ambassadors. “Some of the ambassadors I spoke with expressed a lot of opinions that they were sufficiently satisfied.”
On controversy surrounding the poor planning and execution of the event, the prime minister said the priority is in concluding the jamboree safely. “It is not appropriate to mention such a problem (now)."
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