The ceremony celebrating the official launch of the new administrative city of Sejong came to a close this Monday morning, but not before the city's first mayor, Yu Han-sik, was sworn in at Sejong Gymnasium.
More than 2-thousand residents came out to celebrate his inauguration and the launch of Sejong Special Autonomous City.
The city will have a single local government handling all administrative affairs within the jurisdiction.
Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik was one of the VIP guests attending the ceremony in a gesture showing how important the Sejong project has been on the national agenda.
The opening of the new city comes after a decade of political wrangling over its future.
The Sejong project was first concieved in 2003 to ease overcrowding in the capital region which houses nearly 50-percent of the national population and almost half the national output.
The first stage of the project involves relocating 36 government bodies to Sejong which is 120 kilometers south from Seoul and only 10 kilometers from Daejeon.
Though Sejong's role will be to serve as an administrative capital for now, there are plans to develop it into a global IT technology and research hub over the next 20 years.
Sejong has signed MOUs to host prestigious universities like KAIST. There are also plans to bring in international IT companies.
With prospective business and education opportunities, the government expects Sejong will attract many new residents to the city making it home to about 500-thousand people by 2030.
Currently, Sejong houses a little over 100-thousand people.
Heo Seung-ha, Arirang News.