By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Wednesday officially expressed its intention to host its first World Expo in the southeastern port city of Busan in 2030.
South Korea made the announcement in a virtual meeting held by the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), which oversees the event, according to the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy.
South Korea will hand in its application to the BIE next year.
"This will become an opportunity for us to show the world that we can set examples in not only science technologies, ICT, innovation and industries but also in soft power, such as the K-quarantine and 'hallyu,'" the ministry said in a statement.
The term K-quarantine refers to South Korea's aggressive and effective response to the COVID-19 pandemic. "Hallyu" refers to the popularity of Korean cultural content overseas.
During the session, Russia also vowed to compete to host the World Expo in Moscow. More countries can join the competition down the road. The final decision will be made in December 2023.
A winner needs to secure two-thirds of the votes cast by member countries.
South Korea hosted small-scale recognized events, the Specialized Expo in Daejeon and Yeosu in 1993 and 2012, respectively, but it has not hosted the registered World Expo that covers a wider range of topics.
Shanghai and Milan hosted the 2010 and 2015 events, respectively.
While the United Arab Emirates was the host of this year's World Expo, it was delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Should South Korea successfully host the 2030 World Expo, it will have organized all three major international events -- the World Expo, the Olympics and the World Cup.
South Korea hosted the country's first Summer Games in 1988, followed by the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It hosted the Winter Olympics in 2018 in the alpine town of PyeongChang.
Last year, the country said the World Expo 2030 will create economic value worth 43 trillion won (US$38.7 billion) in the country and generate 500,000 jobs.
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