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Korean delegation to discover Snoqualmie

Seeking to make their homeland a better place to live, a delegation from the Republic of Korea wants to find out what gives Snoqualmie its unique quality of life.

About 30 people from the South Korean Ministry of Government Administration and Home Affairs will visit Snoqualmie Friday, May 25, as part of a quality-of-life initiative proposed last year by Korean president Roh Moo Hyun.

In the last few decades, South Korea has experienced tremendous economic and industrial growth. However, the quality of life in the country did not keep pace.

"Now, we consider these qualities as essential aspects of our cities, and are attempting to change our cities," said Korean Consul General Chanho Kwon.

Thirty regions, and more than 230 cities in Korea, are involved in a pilot project to improve education, health, culture, housing and the environment.

"Their project ... is trying to make their regions a good place to live," said Consul Joohoon Kim of the Korean Consulate General's office in Seattle. But before they can do that, they need to find out how other countries have done it, he said. Included on the tour are Vancouver, Wash., California's Napa Valley, as well as cities in Canada, Europe and Asia.

In Snoqualmie, the Korean visitors are chiefly interested in seeing city facilities such as water reclamation or sewer treatment, and also want to learn about quality-of-life improvements and "village designs."

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