S. Korea's total land area grows 69 sq.km in 2009

April 23, 2010 11:40 am 

SEOUL, April 23 — South Korea's overall land area grew by 69 square kilometers last year due to various landfill projects, the government said Friday.

The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs said the increase pushed up the country's total land mass to 100,210 square kilometers.

"Projects such as the reclamation work in Dangjin in South Chungcheon Province and Songdo in Incheon on the shallow west coast of the country contributed to last year's gains," a press release said. It added that the filling up of Yeongsan Lake in South Jeolla Province added 16.5 square kilometers of land.

Mountainous South Korea has been engaged in landfill projects over the decades to increase land that can be used for homes, factories and agricultural purposes.

Compared to 10 years ago the country's total land area has grown by 437 square kilometers.

The latest report, meanwhile, showed forests accounted for 64 percent of the total or 64,472 square kilometers, followed by rice paddies and other types of farming fields that respectively made up 11 percent and 8 percent of all land in the country.

Rice paddies accounted for 11,895 square kilometers of land, with fields making up 7,821 square kilometers.

Land for homes and factories made up roughly 3 percent of the total with roads and rivers covering 3 percent of the country's land area each.

The ministry said compared to the past there has been a steady increase in land used for homes, factories and roads, while forests, paddies and fields have declined.

Of the total, 54 percent — equal to 53,767 square kilometers — was privately owned land, with state controlled land making up 24 percent or 23,891 square kilometers.

It said North Gyeongsang Province was the largest administrative region in the country, covering 19 percent or 19,029 square kilometers, while the southwestern city of Gwangju was the smallest at 501 square kilometers. (PNA/Yonhap) LOR/ebp

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