No skating rink at Seoul Plaza this year
The annual event is affected by President Park’s scandal and will not be happening this year as operator considers ‘public safety is more important’
By Lee Jin-a
Seoul, South Korea, will not operate an ice-skating rink at Seoul Plaza in the city centre this winter.
This is because massive anti-government rallies near there are expected to continue demanding that scandal-plagued President Park Geun-hye steps down.
At a press conference on Monday, a Seoul City spokesperson said, “Even though we promised to open an ice-skating rink every December, we decided not to this year because we considered public safety is more important.”
On Nov. 20, Seoul started to build an ice-skating rink at the plaza, but halted work before the fifth major anti-Park rally last Saturday.
Although the city considered opening a rink at other locations such as Seoul Sports Complex, Seoul Children’s Grand Park, or Seoul Innovation Park, the city decided not to because the process would take more than six weeks.
“We judged that opening an ice-skating rink after the end of the year is not efficient,” said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson also pointed out that more than 58 per cent of 2,417 Seoul citizens said the city should not operate the ice-skating rink in the present situation, while 38 per cent said it should.
In another online survey by the city government, more than 70 per cent of 597 respondents agreed with Seoul’s decision while 27 per cent opposed it.
“We are truly sorry for the people who anticipated an ice-skating rink to be open at Seoul Plaza this year,” said a city government official.
“We will provide a higher-quality ice-skating rink service next year.”