Skip to comments.Fire destroys South Korean landmark
Posted on 02/10/2008 7:37:53 PM PST by nuconvert
Fire destroys South Korean landmark
By KWANG-TAE KIM,
An overnight fire destroyed a 610-year-old landmark that was considered the top national treasure, officials said Monday. Police said the cause of the blaze was unclear but one official said arson was suspected.
The fire broke out Sunday night and burned down the wooden structure at the top of the Namdaemun gate that once formed part of a wall that encircled the capital.
Some 360 firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control, according to Lee Sang-joon, an official with the National Emergency Management Agency. No one was injured, he said.
Lee said that arson was suspected in the blaze. However, Kim Young-soo, the head of a police station in central Seoul handling the case, told a televised news conference said it was too early to make that conclusion.
The South Korean government opened the landmark gate, officially named Sungnyemun, to public in 2006 for first time in nearly a century.
The gate had been off-limits to the public since Japanese colonial authorities built an electric tramway nearby in 1907. Japan ruled the Korean Peninsula in 1910-45.
The gate was renovated in the 1960s and again in 2005.
Please post a larger picture.
Rather large, but we certainly get to see the detail
almost like being there
Please limit images to 20 Gig...
Sorry to the dial up and such, spoiled with FIOS.
I’m interested to see what you are pointing out. If you could only be more specific. This structure lasted. I would have loved to have seen it.
We’ve all done it one time or another. At least the subject was worthy of the bandwidth.
There are some mentally unstable homeless people who roam around this gate, after it made accessible to general public.
The president elect Lee Myung-bak dismantled the security fence around it and created a mini park around it, and people were able to even go through the gate itself. It looked good, but it is a step which seriously compromised its security and safety. This is not a prop for amusement park.
This gate survived three full-scale war (Japanese invasion in 16th century, Chinese(Manchu) invasion in 17th century, and Korean War in 1950~53,) more or less unscathed. Now it was burned down during the peacetime. This is the serious tragedy.
The main responsibility lies with President-elect Lee Myung-bak. He is the one who opened it to public unrestricted without proper security. The security of the gate was reportedly subcontracted to a private security company. No police presence here.
Lee always go for whatever looks good and grand at the moment, and do not care about its consequence or aftermath. He did it because it was another good political show.
He may be a president elect from an ostensibly conservative party, but he is no more than a corrupt and unscrupulous figure which embodies all the darkside of construction industry where he workd for decades. He is not much of an improvement over Roh Moo-hyun. Even now, he is busy stacking the rank of his party with former leftwing activists, and spineless RINO types who only care about money. He said he does not care much about ideology. However, the most serious problem is that he has no conscience or scruples, even though he claimed to be a Christian.
This disaster is symptomatic of his way of doing business. This would be what will happen if he is allowed to do things unimpeded. He will embark on grand projects which look good, sound good, but fraught with many dangers and pitfalls, which people have to pay for dearly later.
I am afraid he would allow leftwing resurgence.
Anybody out there who might have the impression that he is another Sarkozy in S. Korea, think again. He is much closer to Bill Clinton without his seductive skill. The only difference is that he chose conservative party to launch his political ambition.
Arson Suspected in Namdaemun Fire
According to firefighters, Namdaemun did not seem to sustain major damage other than minor burning to the area underneath the roof.
Police suspect someone deliberately started the fire as a taxi driver, identified only by his surname Lee, said he saw a man in his 50s go up the stairs of the gate with a shopping bag, while he was waiting to pick up a customer in the nearby area. Lee said he then saw a spark like a firework and reported it to police, adding the man came down the stairs afterwards. The taxi driver said he drove around looking for the man but could not find him.
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