Hankyoreh, February 5th 2015
The Four Major Rivers project may have been less costly than resource diplomacy in pure spending terms, but according to Catholic Kwandong University professor Park Chang-keun, the resulting costs of 84 trillion won (US$77.1 billion) are even greater than for the resource push. Besides the back-room deals that inflated the project costs, the careful analysis showed 6 trillion won (US$5.5 billion) lost from wetlands destruction, 1.3 trillion won (US$1.2 billion) per year in river maintenance, 2.5 trillion won (US$2.3 billion) for intake relocation, and 0.3 trillion won (US$280 million) in financing costs. When the problem of algae on the Nakdong River surfaced in the fall two years ago, Lee justified the project by saying the blooms were “a sign that the water quality has improved.” It was You and the other KCGG‘s members “rage” at hearing this that inspired the publication, the book explains. In his memoirs, Lee claims that the “rivers and their bank areas are gaining vitality” as a result of the project.