SKorea starts work on world's second tallest building

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The Independent Online

South Korea on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for what developers say will be the world's second tallest building.

The 133-storey, 640-metre (2,112 feet) DMC Landmark Building is due for completion in western Seoul's Mapo district by May 2015 at a cost of 3.3 trillion won (2.9 billion dollars).

When completed it is set to be the world's second tallest building after the Burj Dubai now under construction in the United Arab Emirates, developers said.

"Differently from skyscrapers in other countries, this is a town within a building that has urban facilities under one roof," said Kim Wu-Seok, president of Seoul Lilte Tower Asset Management, a consortium constructing the building.

It will house not only luxury hotels and business offices but an observatory, broadcasting companies, restaurants, apartments, department stores, medical clinics, a multiplex cinema and an aquarium.

"From the sky lounge on the highest floor, you will be able to take a glimpse of Kaesong," a North Korean city near the border, he told Yonhap news agency.

The building is modelled on communications facilities on Korean mountaintops in past centuries, which used fire and smoke signals to relay urgent messages between the capital and the countryside.

It was designed by US firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP.

Also Friday the country's longest bridge opened off the west coast.

The 18.4-kilometre (11.5 mile) bridge connects the western port city of Incheon with Yeongjong island, where the main international airport is located.

It is expected to cut around 40 minutes from journeys between the airport and southern Seoul, while saving about 473.1 billion won in logistical costs annually, the transport ministry said.

"The bridge lays the groundwork for our drive to become a logistical hub in northeast Asia," it said in a statement.

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