Development of Public Transport Infrastructure
The revolutionary government restored and strengthened the postal service, which was greatly depleted under the previous leadership. In particular in rural areas, where people were forced to walk long distances to mail a simple letter, the government opened 387 new postal offices in just a year and a half and it also installed telephone lines. To prepare for the ever-increasing urban population and industrial plants, more phone facilities in general have been established and improved. Meanwhile, a wireless telecommunication network for land, islands and ships was newly installed to enable people to call or send telegrams.
Hooligans and peddlers are now being denied access to train cars, and trains which were often delayed in departure or arrival are now running punctually. Medical facilities are now available on trains for unexpected emergencies. Station buildings that were destroyed during the revolution have been restored and renovated, and open-air waiting rooms have been built for passengers at the Seoul Station and at the Daejeon Station. As for the progress of railroad construction, the Donghae North Line that connects Gyeongpodae and Okgye was opened and railroads under construction include the Hwangji Line, the Jeongseon Line, and the Gyeongbuk Line; the Neungin Line has already been opened. For railroad construction, the government replaced the wooden railroad ties, which had to be imported, with locally-made concrete ties, a move that saves a considerable amount of foreign currency. The railroad network is expected to reach every corner of the nation as a result of the improvements. Meanwhile, train construction in Incheon, which had been left idle due to political and social pressures, resumed operations, with 1,179 train cars repaired and 1,020 new passenger cars manufactured in the year and half that followed the revolution. 14 steam locomotives deserted during the previous regimes were renovated and fitted with diesel engines.
Road construction under the previous regime was ineffective because a significant portion of the funds that were earmarked for construction costs ending up being used for other purposes by corrupt politicians. This resulted in disconnected roads and traffic jams. The current government has eradicated this kind of corruptions and it is building many roads including one between Gimpo and Seoul. In addition to creating new jobs, these roads will ensure the smooth transport of products generated by the Five-Year Economic Development Plans. The continuous expansion of national roads is an absolute must if our nation is to have a bright future.
Furthermore, the second Hangang Bridge in Seoul is under construction. The distance between Gimpo to the Seoul City Hall is currently 16 kilometers and motorists often encounter traffic jams along the way. When the second Hangang Bridge is completed, the distance will be shortened by four kilometers. Let’s look at roads and bridges that are either completed or under construction across the nation. First, roads will be extended by a total of 737 kilometers including 62 kilometers in Seoul, 57 kilometers in Geyonggi, 97 kilometers in Gangwon, 24 kilometers in Chungbuk, 172 kilometers in Chungnam, 106 kilometers in Gyeongbuk, 94 kilometers in Gyeongnam, 35 kilometers in Jeonbuk, 55 kilometers in Jeonnam and 35 kilometers in Jeju. A total of 236 bridges are presently under construction.
Our country is blessed with a beautiful natural environment and thus has a good potential for tourism but previous governments have failed to attract foreign tourists due to weak tourism infrastructure and promotion. Notably, this failure caused them to lose a valuable opportunity to earn foreign currency. The revolutionary government has improved and protected all cultural properties and facilities. The Choseun Hotel, which was planned as the residence of the prime minister under the previous government, was renovated to promote the tourism industry and it now earns USD 300,000 – or KRW 31 million – each year. Meanwhile, according to the Five-Year Tourist Hotel Construction Plan, guest rooms will increase from 1,100 to 2,400 in order to accommodate tourists. In particular, Walkerhill, a tourist facility in the suburbs of Seoul, is being constructed with a budget of KRW 600 million and is scheduled to be completed in December 25th of 1962. With 36 buildings covering an area of 190,000 pyeong (3.3 square meter), the facility will enhance the image of Korea as a tourist destination. Walkerhill is expected to generate KRW 60 million a year from U.N. forces and personnel stationed in Korea and from foreign tourists alone.
Many housing units have been built since the revolution. In order to solve the housing shortage problem in cities, many apartment buildings were constructed in major metropolitan cities including Seoul. And in Yeongju and Namwon, houses were built for those who lost their homes to floods. Noteworthy is the establishment of the Ministry of Patriots and Veteran Affairs that is charged with supporting disabled veterans the children of patriots. The support that the ministry will offer includes housing or jobs for disabled veterans, among others. In addition, pension that was paid out by the Postal Service Ministry is now, following the revolution, being paid out by the National Agricultural Cooperatives Federation to ensure speedier disbursement of overdue payments. The Ministry of Patriots and Veteran Affairs plans on establishing the Central Veterans Center in Suwon, Gyeonggi-do. It will comprise of a daycare center, an agricultural training center, an occupational training center and a senior citizen center.
The revolutionary government has introduced in this country modern medicine that can cure leprosy, which was once thought to be an incurable condition. The public health policy of the revolutionary government, unlike that of the past, includes sending treatment teams across the country to carry out campaigns designed to prevent contagious diseases. Moreover, a campaign was waged to ensure that all remote villages have health clinics and hospitals.
Meanwhile, employment security centers have been setup nationwide to help the unemployed get jobs and live stable, hopeful lives. For a brighter future, day laborers who were disdained in the past have a new stability in their lives at the Labor Hall that is prepared by the government at just KRW 5 a day.
Senior citizen centers and orphanages, from which relief funds were once wrongly siphoned, have been receiving gifts and contributions, giving further hope to the community.
Since the revolution, the nation’s education system has undergone an across-the-board reform. Demonstrations at schools have ceased and, in particular, schools are focusing on technical education. All schools in the nation now conduct “one person, one skill” education in order to train the engineers and professions that are required to carry out the Five-Year Economic Development Plan. A lot of efforts have been made to increase the number of professional colleges and students.