Seoul National Cemetery to Undergo Transformation for Enhanced Accessibility and Visitor Experience

SEOUL - Veterans Minister Park Min-shik announced on Wednesday a commitment to transforming the Seoul National Cemetery into a more accessible and engaging site for visitors. This initiative includes significant infrastructure developments and the addition of new memorial facilities.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the plan aims to make the cemetery a globally renowned memorial site. The initiative comes as the Veterans Ministry is set to take over the management of the cemetery from the Defense Ministry. "We plan to make the Seoul National Cemetery... as a symbolic place of culture, rest, and healing for not only our public but for foreigners as well and into a sacred place for patriots and veterans of the Republic of Korea together with the people," Park stated, referring to South Korea's official name.

The Seoul National Cemetery, established in 1956, has been under the Defense Ministry's administration until now. However, since being elevated to a full-fledged ministry in June, the Veterans Ministry has advocated for its management. Park indicated that a bill facilitating this transfer is expected to receive approval from the National Assembly soon, noting bipartisan support for the move.

Once the transfer is complete, the Veterans Ministry plans to undertake several infrastructure projects to improve the site's accessibility and appeal. Key initiatives include converting the current eight-lane road near the cemetery into an underground passage and constructing a direct pathway linking the cemetery to nearby Dongjak Station. Additionally, the ministry intends to enhance the site's facilities, including establishing a concert venue and a water feature reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington.

Park, who previously served as a two-term lawmaker, is preparing to vacate his position following the appointment of Kang Jung-ai, a former university chief, as his successor earlier this month.

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