President Lee Myung-bak met with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg on Wednesday morning and discussed ways to expand cooperation in various fields, including Arctic sea development and green growth.
The two sides signed two MOUs: one on the development of an Arctic sea route that will shorten the sailing time from Asia to Europe by one-third, and another on cooperation in eco-friendly shipbuilding. The shipbuilding industry accounts for half of the total trade volume between the two countries, and 70 percent of Korean exports to Norway.
Lee and Stoltenberg also agreed to work together in resources development, on projects in oil exploration and joint petroleum storage. The Arctic region is known to hold around 13 percent of the world's total oil deposits, 40 times more rare earth metals than China, and other valuable resources such as gold, diamond and platinum.