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A Preview of Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea Updated: 2012-02-14 00:00:00 KST

[Interview : ] "77 to 63."

[Interview : ] "It's finished!"

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea was announced in November 2007.

[Interview : ] "We won! We won!"

Since then, five years have passed.

The countdown has begun for Expo 2012 Yeosu, which will write Yeosu into the history of world expositions.

[Interview : Kang Dong-suk, Chairman
Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea] "It will be the most beautiful and meaningful Expo in the 160-year history of the Expo."

[Interview : Vicente Gonzales Loscertales, Secretary General
Bureau International des Expositions] "We have prepared the face and the opening of the Expo, and I expect and I wish that it will be a memorable Expo."

Last Wednesday, at a hotel in Seoul, representatives from the Expo's participating nations came together for a final planning meeting.

[Interview : Ole Philipson, Senior advisor
Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea] "I think preparations are going according to plan. It's going to be fantastic. The visitors will make it. The content is very interesting, all about the ocean and the coast."

Expo 2012 Yeosu will be the second international Expo to be held in Korea. With 106 countries and 7 international organizations participating, Expo 2012 Yeosu will present various exhibitions and hands-on experiences themed around the ocean.

Lonely Planet and CNN listed Expo 2012 Yeosu as a major reason to visit Korea this year.

[Interview : Claudio Moreno, Commissioner of section
Italy] "The place, you know, is fantastic, because it has potentiality of developing maritime tourism, exceptionally important."

Expo 2012 Yeosu will kick off on May 12, and the 1.74-million square meter area near Yeosu's New Port is currently undergoing transformation in preparation for welcoming its guests.

[Interview : Kang Dong-suk, Chairman
Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea] "The South Sea coastline, which is rich with resources, has yet to be fully developed. Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea will act as the decisive stimulus to increase development of the South Sea coast's marine resources, from Mokpo to Busan."

The Expo is expected to draw 12 million visitors and have an economic effect of nearly US$11 billion.

In economic terms, it will be the biggest international event in Korean history.

Expo 2012 Yeosu is also special in a non-economic way.

It is the only Expo in the world to be themed on the ocean! In fact, all of the major Expo facilities are actually built on the ocean.

[Interview : Son Hyeok-gi, Head of media operations
Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea] "At high tide, the water will fill up one side of the oceanside park. Visitors can just take off their shoes and walk into the water to have fun."

There are three attractions that cannot be missed at Expo 2012 Yeosu.

The halls between exhibition halls offer a new virtual reality.

[Interview : ] "We'll be covering the ceiling with high-quality LED screens so that it will give visitors the illusion that they're walking underwater, or that they're looking at a night sky filled with shooting stars."

The Sky Tower, the world's largest pipe organ standing 55 meters tall, will be played using wind and water power from the ocean.

Finally, there is the Big-O, the symbol of Expo 2012 Yeosu. The O represents the first letter of the word "ocean" as well as the number "0," symbolizing "beginning." The frame of the "O" is inlaid with screens, and the front will be a stage partially immersed in water.

[Interview : Park Hee-ju, Producer
Arirang Today] "So, this is where performances and other festivities will be taking place. It's amazing how you can really connect with the ocean. I just can't wait to see when it's ready in May."

Last Thursday afternoon, representatives from participating nations visited the construction site for Expo 2012 Yeosu.

[Interview : ] "This oceanhow it's on4%, 5%, "

300 representatives from participating countries and international organizations, including the Bureau International des Expositions, toured the construction site and checked its progress.

[Interview : Vicente Gonzales Loscertales, Secretary General
Bureau International des Expositions] "Very impressed. I was here a few months ago, and the situation has suddenly changed. Yeosu is a city, in which you know the problem of the oceans, you can see the problems of the oceans. You can see rapid industrialization, you can see how we need to protect the environment."

This was the representatives’ first visit since April last year. They each went to check the progress on their individual country's sections.

[Interview : Jaime Cabal, Commissioner of section
Colombia ] "This is a very important fair from the thematic event point of view. Korea, as the host country, has prepared very well, and put on a great effort to generate a very important construction project."

[Interview : Roberto Recalde, Commissioner of Section
Paraguay] "Very useful, for Korea, for all members of the international community."

Expo 2012 Yeosu will introduce the world to the secrets of the ocean and its relationship with mankind.

We cannot wait for May.

[Interview : Kim Chung-seog, Mayor of Yeosu] "Korea will become one of the world's five greatest marine powers and Yeosu will become a city with one of the world's four most beautiful harbors. We encourage visitors to come from all over the world."

So the festivities kick off in May. You can start experiencing the expo on May 12.
And I understand that we have some special friends from the expo here.
Who are they They are..
Very cute. So there will be animated versions all throughout the town.
But really we get to see up close and personal these great exhibits on aspects of the ocean we can never experience in everyday life.
Indeed. Well stay with us we'll be back with more as we travel to Southeast Asia.
Say bye bye.!
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