The first day of drinking guidance at Millak Waterfront Park in Busan, with the stigma of ‘Sulpan’, scuffles everywhere

The effect of the designation of the prohibition zone was significant. ‘Sulbyeon Park’, which only drunk people enjoyed, regained its original name, ‘Millak Waterside Park’, just one day after the enforcement of the ‘Prohibition of Alcohol’ ordinance.

On the night of the 1st, at the entrance of Millak Waterfront Park in Suyeong-gu, Busan안전놀이터, a signboard was posted saying ‘Alcohol is prohibited’. Suyeong-gu public health center staff and others roamed around the beach and made it clear that from that day on, no alcohol could be consumed anywhere in the park.

In the park, vacationers eating food while looking at Gwangandaegyo Bridge on prepared mats and citizens taking a walk while enjoying the sea breeze stood out here and there. However, compared to before the designation of the prohibition zone, the number of visitors decreased to the extent that it could be said to be ‘lean’. Amugae Park (43) said, “I bought flounder sashimi at the sashimi center in front of the park, but he said he couldn’t drink alcohol, so he prepared only soda. Still, he licked his lips, saying, “I can’t help but feel desperate for soju after putting a piece of sashimi in my mouth.”

In the park, prohibition instructors carrying fluorescent vests and light sticks walked around in groups. From 6:00 pm to 1:00 am, they monitor alcohol consumption in the park and continue to guide the drinking crackdown. Guidance measures are taken for the first offense, but a fine of 50,000 won is imposed thereafter.

“Eh, we also have to earn money in the summer to pay taxes, Aingyo?” The park was buzzing. Seven to eight nearby merchants were protesting vigorously about the ‘designation of a prohibited area’ to the staff of the district health center who were standing guard at the head of the park. A merchant named Kim (57) said, “It’s not just a drop in sales. I am worried that most of the 50 or so nearby grocery stores will have to close because of this.” He said that the number of customers who bought sashimi until early evening was about 1/10 of the usual. “We are residents and citizens too. You can’t kill commercial power like this.” The merchants who had raised their voices moved to their respective stores at the persuasion of the police officer who was dispatched to the scene after receiving a report.

Citizen reaction was mixed. Amugae Lee (34), a resident of Suyeong-gu, said, “The places where you could have a drink while appreciating the wonderful night view for 40,000 to 50,000 won have disappeared. There seems to be no reason to come here anymore.” On the other hand, many residents welcomed the designation of a no-alcohol zone. A 29-year-old surnamed Kim, who lives in a nearby apartment, said, “It was enough to drink a bottle of soda while watching the night sea while taking a walk. Why do I have to drink alcohol?” said.

Millak Waterside Park, which opened in 1997, offers a night view of Gwangandaegyo Bridge from the 2010s, and the price of sashimi sold at nearby sushi centers is only around 20,000 won per 1kg, making it a popular spot among those who want to enjoy sashimi and alcohol outdoors. name started to emerge. In 2018, the number of visitors in the summer here exceeded 400,000, and it briefly decreased to 300,000 due to the Corona 19 pandemic, but last year when social distancing was eased, a whopping 894,000 people visited.

However, as the number of visitors increased and rumors spread that it was a ‘drinking spot’, drinkers flocked to it, suffering from high-pitched voices and trash. Complaints were pouring in on the bulletin boards of the ward office, and the names of Minrak ‘Sul’ Byeon Park and Millak ‘Sulpan’ Park began to appear in the local press. Eventually, Suyeong-gu started designating the park as a no-alcohol zone from last year, and the Suyeong-gu Council passed the ‘Ordinance on the Creation and Support of a Healthy Drinking Culture Environment’ in October of last year. This day was the first day of the designation of a prohibition zone according to the enforcement of the ordinance.

An official from the Suyeong-gu Urban Beach Management Department said, “Even if the number of visitors decreases right now, we expect that the number of visitors will increase if we organize various cultural content events such as classical music concerts and continue environmental improvement projects suitable for the ‘clean drinking zone’.”

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