Korean governor signs F1 race deal

Kim Hyuk Kyu, the governor of the Korea's Kyongsang province, was in London last week to sign a memorandum of understanding for a Formula 1 race to take place in the city of Chinhae (also spelled Jinhae) in October 2009. If all goes according to plan, the event will be known as the Korean Grand Prix. A contract should be completed within the next six months.

Chinhae is on the south-east coast of South Korea, close to the much larger port and better-known port of Pusan. It is a small city with a population of only 130,000 but nearby Pusan boasts a population of four million. Chinhae is best known as a naval base. It is the principal naval base of the Republic of Korea fleet and headquarters of the US Navy's Commander Fleet Activities. The city is primarily supported by the naval personnel and fears that the US Navy may depart in the medium term may be behind the scheme to develop tourism in the region.

The city is picturesque with a bay dotted with small islands overlooked by pine-covered mountains. It is famous for the Spring blossoming of its cherry trees which bring in large numbers of tourists.

Chinhae is two hours from Seoul by air.

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