KEC, a Driving Force behind Industrialization, Aims to be ‘Artery of Peace’ for Two Koreas
In celebration of 50th anniversary, corporation declares future plan of ‘human-oriented future transportation service company’ and a vision to be a century entity through “five promises to people’
President Lee Kang-rae of Korea Express Corp. (KEC) gives a speech at a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary. (Photo: KEC)
President Lee Kang-rae of Korea Expressway Corp. (KEC) revealed a plan of becoming “an artery of peace” to pave the way for inter-Korean reconciliation and exchanges on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the corporation, which served as a driving force for industrialization during a high-growth period.
At a ceremony to celebrate the 50th anniversary at the KEC headquarters in Gimcheon, Gyeongsangbuk-do, on Feb. 14. KEC said it laid the foundation for high growth of the national economy when it opened the Gyeongbu Expressway that made its debut in July 1990.
The corporation also opened a “path of harmony” between the east and the west by opening the 88 Olympic Expressway connecting Gyeongsang and Jeolla provinces in 1984. Currently, the combined length of expressways in operation across the nation stands at 4,151 km on 30 routes.
KEC was established on Feb. 15, 1969.
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary, KEC declared a future plan of a “human-oriented future transportation service company” and a vision to be a 100-year-old public entity through “five promises to people.” They are designed to lead innovation of mobility based on public trust toward safety and communication and a path of peace bridging two Korean as one.
In particular, KEC is steadfastly building stepping stones to connect roads between South and North Korea and implement projects to modernize the North’s roads.
A section responsible for connecting of roads such as Gyeongui (Seoul-Pyongyang) Line and Donghae (Goseong-Wonsan) Line was expanded into the Inter-Korea Road Cooperation Department last year.
A field survey was conducted on a section of the Gyeongui Line last August while a prior inspection was made on a section of the Donghae Line. South and North Korean authorities shared outcomes of a joint analysis into the Seohae Line and fine-tuned the schedule of future surveys at the South-North Korea Joint Liaison Office in Gaeseong late last month. Currently, KEC is working on a commissioned service of strategies and environment evaluation on the Munsan-Mt, Dora section, the South Korean part of the Munsan-Gaeseong Expressway.
A KEC official who participated in the field survey of the Gyeongui Line said, “As the United Nations Security Council recognized the inter-Korean joint survey as an exception of sanctions against North Korea late last month, the project is forecast to pick up speed.” “If obsolescent facilities are revamped, the North Korean section of the Gyeongui Line is expected to serve as a channel of logistics transportation since it is spacious in width of the lane and goes straight to Pyongyang,” the official said.
KEC expected the expressway between Seoul and Pyongyang to pave the way for an “Asian Highway” heading toward China and Russia beyond Shinuiju, North Korea.
The Asian Highway is an international road network, stretching some 140,000 km, being jointly implemented by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP) and 32 Asian countries. KEC plans to devote itself to carrying out its own mission of ensuring transportation safety. The corporation works out countermeasures tailored to causes of each accident such as dozing on the wheel, speeding, and cargo car accidents.
The corporation plans to spearhead the realization of social values as a public entity such as sticking to youth employment obligations and workweek reduction and changing of no-regular road patrolmen into regular employees. KEC has tasks on the enhancing of public trust on its plate such as innovation for future transportation networks like big data analysis and the spreading of integrity culture.
President Lee said, “Expressways, constructed with KEC executives and staff members’ blood and sweat, served as a foundation to achieve “The Miracle of the Han River.” “(KEC) is going to be fully read for expanding economic spheres to the Continent by connecting roads cut off between South and North Korea and building a foundation to ensure inter-Korean co-prosperity,” he said.