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SUN, 2014-10-26  KST

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Reunification would boost Korea as important geopolitical hub of Asia

Updated: 2014-01-15 06:29:58 KST
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Experts in Seoul say the reunification of the two Koreas would help the region reach its potential as an important economic center.
The Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements says the roads and railways connecting North and South Korea could lead to a reduction in the cost and time required to deliver goods bringing about a new era for the distribution and transport of goods and services.
The institute envisions railways and roads being constructed on two axial lines, one along the west coast that includes stops in the North Korean cities of Gaeseong , Pyongyang and Sinuiju , and the other stretching through the eastern part of the peninsula through Mount Geumgangsan, Wonsan , Hamhung and Rajin.
If the Gyeongui Railway Line that used to run from Seoul to Pyongyang and all the way through Sinuiju were reopened, it could also connect with the Trans China Railway to Beijing.
And from Beijing, the railroad could join up with the Trans Mongolian Railway through Ulan-Bataar and by extension the Trans-Siberian line.
This is why some call this trans-continent connection the next "Silk Road," as it would connect Northeast Asia to Europe.
It is estimated to take a total of four hours to get to Beijing from Seoul by train.
Alexander Medvedev , Director General of Gazprom, one of the largest oil and gas suppliers based in Russia, said his company would like to provide energy to the Korean peninsula and provide investment to kick things off.
In an exclusive interview with the Chosun Daily, Medvedev said building the pipelines on land would lower maintenance costs and capital compared to transporting liquified natural gas by sea.
But Medvedev says there are plenty of potential pitfalls to account for.
He cited a lack of a systematic record-keeping of transactions as one, and the absence of a qualified administrator to look over disputes that may arise from engaging in such business activities.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.


Reporter : jiyeonkim@arirang.co.kr

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