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(LEAD) Seoul city government approves opening of Lotte's 123-story skyscraper

All Headlines 17:16 February 09, 2017

(ATTN: ADDS more info throughout)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- The Seoul city government on Thursday gave the final nod for the country's retail giant Lotte to open South Korea's tallest skyscraper for business.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said it has approved the use of the 123-story Lotte World Tower in southern Seoul, which has long been a coveted dream of group founder Shin Kyuk-ho.

After the retail giant submitted a request for approval in December, the metropolitan government said it has carried out a number of tests, including on-site inspections and anti-disaster drills.

It consulted with dozens of relevant government departments to review whether the skyscraper was built in accordance with conditions and regulations.

An advisory panel composed of 21 experts and nearby residents checked a total of 188 criteria ranging from fire protection to environmental factors before the government made the final decision, it said.

Construction of the 555-meter building began in November 2010, with some 5 million workers mobilized.

Lotte is known to be planning to open the building for business in early April.

The city government expects the skyscraper to attract domestic and foreign tourists and create jobs.

The building is the world's fifth tallest at the moment. Its title as the country's No. 1 will be taken by Hyundai Motor Group's new headquarters when it is built nearby in southern Seoul by 2021.

This file photo provided by Lotte on Nov. 4, 2016, shows a marching band playing a Christmas carol the previous day in front of Lotte World Tower. (Yonhap)


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