A World Festival Hosted by Korea – Daejeon Expo 93

Hello, this is Suny. How did you enjoy the introduction of the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics? Today, I will introduce the 1993 Daejeon Expo, which was the first Expo hosted by Korea. Daejeon Expo was the second global event hosted by Korea after the Seoul Summer Olympics. Furthermore, this event had significance since Expos have the largest economic and cultural ripple effects among the three main global events: Expo, Olympics, and World Cup.

Daejeon Expo was a 93 day international exposition held from August 7, 1993 to November 7, 1993 in the city of Daejeon. This specialized exposition was officially-endorsed by the Bureau of International Expositions (BIE) and was the first exposition held in a developing country. The theme of the exposition was “The Challenge of a New Road of Development,” and the sub-theme was ‘Traditional and Modern Science and Technology for the Developing World’ and ‘Effective Use of Resources and Recycling.’ The official mascot was ‘Kumdori.’ The theme was decided to reflect the meaning of creating new opportunities for improvement by gathering the ability of citizens upon looking back at the development achieved by Korea. Although Korea had achieved industrialization very rapidly, there were problems occurring due to such development, thus, the exposition was an attempt to overcome the problems and prepare for the 21st century.

The entire area of the exhibition center was 273,000 pyeong (90.25 ha), and was constructed in the Doryong District inside the Daeduk Science Town. The facilities were divided into a science park zone and an international exhibition zone, and other facilities consisted of managing and operating facilities, amusement park facilities, and parking facilities. The science park zone was divided into the four themes of future technology, humans and communication, exploration, and environment and resources. In addition, eleven exhibition rooms were built including the biotechnology room, aerospace engineering room, and information and communications room. The international exhibition zone was divided into a stage for cultural creation, a scene of industrial prosperity, a stage for global people, and a stage for themes, and was equipped with various exhibition facilities and amenities.

At the Daejeon Expo, advanced technologies such as magnetic levitation trains and solar cars were introduced and various cultural events were held. In Korea, large conglomerates and about 200 small and medium sized corporations participated, and about 60 foreign nations and 33 international organizations including UN participated as well, totaling approximately 14 million visitors. After 100 years since Korea had participated in an international exposition held in Chicago in 1893, Korea had become the first developing country to host an Expo. This not only has historical significance, but is a result of the remarkably successful industrialization achieved by Korea. We, Yeony and Suny, will always do our best to successfully host Yeosu Expo, based on the experience of successfully hosting Daejeon Expo.