(EDITORIAL from Korea JoongAng Daily on Aug. 7)


The fiasco at the 2023 World Scout Jamboree in Saemangeum, North Jeolla is a source of international embarrassment. Fifteen hundred American Scouts left the event for a U.S. military base in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, and the British Scouts went to Seoul to stay in hotels. This is due to the intense heat in the area and the inadequate organization of the event, which had six years to prepare. It was in 2012 that North Jeolla’s governor asked the Korea Scout Association (KSA) to host the event, and in 2015, the KSA chose the reclaimed land as the venue with the approval of the Park Geun-hye administration. In 2017, the World Organization of the Scout Movement confirmed the selection. It appears that the focus was on the budget for infrastructure construction instead of the event itself. The 43.6-kilometer-long (27-mile-long) main road cost 1.4 trillion won ($1.07 billion), and there is controversy over the economic feasibility of the new airport in Saemangeum. Government officials have also been taking trips abroad to help host the event.

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