Veronica Golovina – About the symposium “Russian-Korean cooperation in the Far East in the light of the Eurasian Initiative”

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June 24-25, 2014 in Vladivostok held the 9th Symposium “Russian-Korean cooperation in the Far East in the light of the Eurasian initiative.” The event was organized by the Institute of Economic Research (IEI) FEB RAS and the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy (KIEP).

The symposium was attended by over 50 people. The Korean delegation was represented by the staff of the Consulate General of Kazakhstan in Vladivostok,  the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, the Korean Railway Research Institute, Hanyang University, the University of Kon Ho Song, University Sunshil, Hanshin University.

During the event, reports on the prospects of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the Republic of Korea (ROK) were eminent scientists of the two countries.

The event marked a new milestone in the development of contacts between Moscow and Seoul. Given the fact that in 2013 President of Kazakhstan Park Geun Hae announced plans for the promotion of “Eurasian Initiative” aimed at strengthening peace and stability in Northeast Asia (NEA) through the development of economic cooperation with Russia and the Central Asian republics Korean side pays significant attention to the issues of scientific cooperation with Russia. By holding such events Seoul confirms interest in intensifying contacts with Russia and seeks to explore prospects for deeper cooperation.

The main purpose of “Eurasian initiative” is not only the expansion of economic cooperation, but also the resolution of security issues in the region. So, Seoul hopes to help the Russian side in the process of engaging the DPRK in the negotiation process and to improve inter-Korean relations. This, according to Korean experts, will be a favorable factor for ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, and later the reunification of the two Koreas.

This is evidenced by a deputy from the Party of Kazakhstan national State Assembly new political alliance for democracy Li Ying Yong (LeeInYoung), speaking at the opening of the Symposium welcoming remarks: “The Russian Far East is the link between Northeast Asia and Eurasia. Special importance is that it is the scene of trilateral cooperation between Russia, Kazakhstan and North Korea. ”

According to the Head of Department of International Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Kazakhstan Rome Jin Hong (RimJinHong), Park Geun Hae government elected “interesting economic policy in Russia and the Central Asian directions.” Together with Russia and the Central Asian Republic of Korea intends to implement mutually beneficial economic projects involving parallel to that the North Korean side.

For example, during a visit to Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan President of Kazakhstan Pak Geun Ho signed a number of multi-billion dollar contracts that will significantly strengthen cooperation between countries .V particularly in Kazakhstan signed a contract to buy electricity produced Balkhash thermal power plant, totaling approximately 18.8 billion dollars. United States, in Turkmenistan, the South Korean side plans to build new plants totaling $ 4.9 billion. United States, Uzbekistan Koreans continue to implement gas project worth $ 4 billion. United States, providing for the development of Kandym gas deposits. In general, the results of visits signed a memorandum on cooperation in the railway sector, and agreed to strengthen cooperation on the Korean logistiki.Za through experience and technology, the North Korean labor force in the republics Seoul intends to create the database, which will help to reduce the confrontation between North-South, “so that in Korea the world can come.”

According to the head of the delegation, Director of Europe, America, EvraziiKIEPLi DzheЁn (LeeJae-Young), the route of Central Asian tour Pak Geun Hae covered only Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on the grounds that only these countries have now inadequate level of economic development, expansion reckless cooperation within the “Eurasian initiative”, but in Seoul expect that in the future, countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan also adhered to the process. ”

Parallel to this, Kazakhstan gives priority to the development of cooperation with the Russian Far East. According to Li Ying Yong, Seoul plans to build the Trans-Korean Railway and joins the Trans-Siberian emphasize the need to strengthen the contacts in this direction. In addition, the increased use of the Northern Sea Route (NSR) will give Far Eastern Federal District (DFO), rich natural resources even more important in the process of economic integration. First of all, Seoul interested in export and import of goods through the use of logistics routes through the Arctic with the activation of ports DFO. But other than that in Seoul interested in the joint construction of research stations on Arctic territories (in the Far North in Yakutia).

Symposium participants drew attention to the fact that the Trans pipeline project despite the current sluggishness in the discussion there prospects . However, as noted by Lee Jae Yong, there are two major problems, one of them is related to the DPRK since pipeline will go directly through its territory, and the second is related to the price of gaz.Poka everything is under discussion, but as suggested by South Korean experts, this project definitely has a place in the future.

“The idea of involving the DPRK in projects in the field of agriculture in the Russian Far East is wonderful, but there are some difficulties associated with it, as North Korea must be open by country only under this condition we can talk about the internationalization of the economy of the DPRK. Given the closeness of the North Kazakhstan Koreina currently limited to dialogue about the implementation of joint projects, but projects that have passed the stage of realization, Pyongyang need to change your thinking in the direction of openness to all countries of the world. ”

The participants of the symposium noted that little progress in this direction are already evident. So, for example, is an unprecedented sign a number of agreements, under which some Western European companies to participate in projects to develop mineral deposits in the territory of the DPRK. In particular, the company «ABB» (Switzerland) intends to invest more than 300 thousand. Dollars. US development of a North Korean gold deposits, and «SRE MINERALS» (United Kingdom), together with North Korea «KOREA NATURAL RESOURCES TRADING CORPORATION» begin to develop the largest in world deposits of rare earth metals, opened in December 2013 in the area of Jeonju. As part of this project, a joint venture «PACIFIC CENTURY RARE EARTH MINERALS Ltd» (registered in the British Virgin Islands)….

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