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S.Korea opens 2nd Antarctic research station

English.news.cn   2014-02-12 10:27:37

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Xinhua)-- South Korea's second Antarctic research station officially opened on Wednesday, making it the 10th country to operate more than one year-round stations in the Antarctic, South Korea's ministry of oceans and fisheries said on Wednesday.

The Jang Bogo Station, named after a renowned admiral in Silla period, has been completed after 21-month construction. It located in Terra Nova Bay(E74 37) in Victoria Land, the southeastern tip of the Antarctic, some 4,500 km apart from South Korea's first Antarctic station King Sejong.

A dedication ceremony was held at the new station at 10:00 AM local time, attended by around 300 people. South Korean President Park Geun-hye sent a congratulatory video message to the ceremony, saying Antarctica was a key region that South Korea must trailblaze to expand their science and resources territory.

The station, which measures 4,458 square meters with 16 buildings of research laboratories, living quarters, power house and 24 observational and other facilities, is able to accommodate 15 people in winter and up to 60 in summer, according to the ministry.

Jang Bogo station was built and will be operated by making full use of eco-friendly construction materials and green renewable energy such as solar and wind energy. The aerodynamics design enables the station to fight the temperature of 40 degree below zero and 65 meter per second wind.

South Korea unveiled the Jang Bogo project and conducted the first site survey in 2006, aiming to build a new year-round station in the southeastern part of the Antarctic. The country's King Sejong Station is located on King George Island in the western part of the Antarctic.

The ministry said King Sejong station will remain a key sentinel station for monitoring the marine environment and investigation of the coastal ecosystem, while Jang Bogo station will serve as a base camp for continental research such as glaciology, meteorite studies and polar technology.

The new station will also be opened for scientists around the world to do cooperative scientific research, according to the ministry.

"I expect that with the full operation of Jang Bogo station, South Korea will not only conduct the polar research on its own initiatives with assistance of its own, but will also engage in jointly research with other advanced partners thereby, taking South Korea' s polar research to the next level, " said Kim Yangsoo, Director General for South Korea' s Marine Industry Policy Bureau.

Editor: Fu Peng
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