SEOUL, Nov. 23 (Korea Bizwire) – Three retired naval vessels have been moved to the banks of the Han River in the neighborhood of Mangwon, Seoul, where they will be opened to the public as museum ships.
The two ships and one submarine are the 1,900-ton escort ship “Seoul”, the 150-ton “Chamsuri-class” patrol boat and the 178-ton dolphin-class submarine. The latter two are being displayed on land while the “Seoul” is anchored in the river. Dubbed “Seoul Warship Park”, the city officially began accepting visitors on November 22.
Commissioned in 1984, the “Seoul” was retired in 2015 after more than thirty years of service on the seas off the west coast of the Korean peninsula. It took part in three instances of officers’ cruise training protocols, and its crew also earned the distinction of being the first amongst South Korean naval officers to be selected for the U.S. Navy’s “Top Gun” program after participating in joint U.S.-British-Japan naval RIMPAC exercises of 1990.
The connection between the “Seoul” and its namesake reaches back to its commissioning date, when then city mayor Yeom Bo-hyun agreed to establish a sisterhood relationship, which in the present day served as the inspiration for the name of the park.
History also played a role in the location of the park. The city’s official explanation stated, “During the Joseon era, the Mangwon Han River Park area where the Seoul Warship Park is being established was near the central hub of maritime transport at Yanghwajin, an important military key point for defending the capital Hanyang [Seoul].”
From this month to February, the park is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with closing extended by one hour on weekends and holidays.
Earlier today the mayor, navy personnel, city officials and 300 others held an opening ceremony at the park.