September 04, 2014 12:51
Hwanggumpyong Island in the mouth of the Apnok River separating North Korea and China was once considered a new symbol of economic cooperation between the two countries. But now the area looks derelict.
Last week there was still only farmland surrounded by barbed wire fences. The only structure was a small building that appeared to have been built to oversee the envisioned development project.
In 2011, North Korea and China hatched ambitious plans to develop Hwanggumpyong into an economic zone for IT, light industry, agriculture and tourism. But the project died with the execution in December last year of former North Korean eminence grise Jang Song-taek, who was Pyongyang's point man in dealings with China.
Jang, once considered the most powerful official in North Korea, had spearheaded the project.
But China apparently still plans to complete construction of a bridge crossing the Apnok River in late October, so it remains to be seen if the project will be revived.
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