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South Korea's 'island of bureaucrats' emerges as next capital

Planned city of Sejong evolving into model for smart-city tech

Trials of autonomous buses are underway in Sejong as the project enters its smart-city phase. (Photo by Yosuke Onchi)

SEOUL -- When South Korea first began moving the bulk of its central government in 2012 from Seoul to the city of Sejong, 120 km away, the move was resented by members of the bureaucratic elite who felt they were being banished from the capital.

But in the years since then, the country's new "administrative capital" has gradually developed into a place where families can raise children and a potential model for smart-city development.

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