May Day rallies to cause traffic congestion in Seoul

Members of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions  participate in a May Day rally near Sejong-daero in central Seoul, May 1, 2023. Korea Times photo by Lee Han-ho

Traffic congestion is expected in Seoul on Wednesday due to the closure of some roads for large-scale rallies marking May Day.According to the police, Tuesday, the two biggest labor unions — the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) — plan to stage their respective rallies.The KCTU will hold a protest with 25,000 participants near Sejong-daero in central Seoul, starting at 2 p.m., while the FKTU-organized rally will be held in Yeouido, with 7,000 attendees expected.The KCTU will commence a preliminary competition at noon and hold its main event at 2 p.m. between Dongwha Duty Free Shop and Sungnyemun and after that, they will march toward the Seoul Regional Employment and Labor Office in Jung District and Samgakji Station in Yongsan District until 5 p.m.The FKTU’s rally is scheduled for 1 p.m. through 3:30 p.m., but it does not plan to hold a march.

Police will implement a variable lane between the Sejong-daero intersection and Deoksu Palace, where rallies are expected, to ensure two-way traffic flow. About 200 police officers will be deployed to the venue and march sections to manage variable lanes and traffic detours.Additional rallies and marches by other groups are also scheduled in Tongil-ro and Eulji-ro in central Seoul, likely causing severe vehicle congestion in the city.The Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency advises that people use public transportation, such as the subway, to avoid the expected congestion.Meanwhile, other events marking May Day will be held not only in Seoul but also in 15 major cities nationwide, including Busan and Daegu.The National Police Agency (NPA) conducted a situation inspection meeting, chaired by NPA Commissioner Yoon Hee-keun, on Monday to strategize responses to the May Day rallies following the reported 90,000-person rallies across the country on Wednesday.Police plan to swiftly disperse illegal rallies, such as those occupying entire roads outside the reported scope, and will respond strictly to any interference with public 스포츠토토존 affairs.

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