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S. Korea gears up to avoid possible power outages

(Xinhua)

09:20, November 29, 2011

SEOUL, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday called for public cooperation in the government's drive to avert possible power shortages in the winter.

In his biweekly radio address, Lee urged the public to take various energy-saving measures, such as lowering thermostat settings, turning off unnecessary lighting and wear thermal underwear.

"I, for one, have recently lowered the thermostat in the place I work. Naturally, I had to wear warmer underwear which was uncomfortable initially. But after a while, I got used to it, and now I'm very warm and comfortable wearing it," Lee said.

He said the government has made utmost efforts to increase power supply, including the construction of power plants, but the country still faces an "uphill battle" to meet the skyrocketing electricity demand.

"South Korea's growth in electricity consumption is much higher than other countries. It is increasing at a much faster rate than that for economic growth," said Lee.

He warned against another potential power failure that could inflict "unimaginable damage."

"In recent years, winter electricity demand has topped peak summer demand. Given this, there is a possibility that we could face an emergency because of power shortages this winter," Lee said.

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