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Hong unveils infrastructure renovation plan to revitalize economy

All News 10:47 April 20, 2017

INCHEON, April 20 (Yonhap) -- Conservative presidential nominee Hong Joon-pyo on Thursday laid out a massive infrastructure renovation plan that he claims will also create jobs, enhance public safety and reinvigorate the economy.

The candidate of the Liberty Korea Party said that if elected in the May 9 poll, he would push to spend 50 trillion won (US$43.7 billion) on the five-year plan to overhaul old public infrastructure assets, including tunnels, ports, roads, subways, railways, gas pipes, water supply and sewage systems.

For what he calls "Korea's New Deal," Hong said he will establish a government panel to look into the condition of public infrastructure across the country.

"Now, the Republic of Korea's infrastructure is at risk of large-scale accidents. It is the time for us to replace dilapidated public infrastructure," the prosecutor-turned-politician said.

Hong Joon-pyo (2nd from R), the presidential candidate of the conservative Liberty Korea Party, speaks during a press conference in Incheon, west of Seoul, on April 20, 2017. (Yonhap)

"We consider public safety as the No. 1 priority in this project to improve public infrastructure, and at the same time, we will seek to revitalize the economy and create jobs," he added.

Hong also said that his plan involves capitalizing on the country's information and communications technologies to ensure new infrastructure assets will be "smart" ones that can help prevent future accidents and allay public safety concerns.

"I believe our experience (in establishing smart infrastructure) will provide an opportunity to export it and create new sources of business profits," Hong said.

In recent voter surveys, Hong has ranked a distant third with his support ratings in woeful single digits. The competition for the upcoming election is seen as a duel between front-runner Moon Jae-in of the liberal Democratic Party and Ahn Cheol-soo of the center-left People's Party.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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