November 18, 2014 10:54
South Korea will import 30,000 tons of Russian coal late this month through North Korea's Rajin port.
The deal is part of the Rajin-Hassan logistics partnership project between the three countries and involves a consortium of POSCO, Hyundai Merchant Marine and KORAIL. The project is at the core of President Park Geun-hye's so-called Eurasia Initiative, which aims to open trade routes with the mainland.
According to the Unification Ministry here on Monday, the Russian coal worth W3.6 billion (US$1=W1,096) will be loaded on a ship at Rajin port and transported to Pohang for use in making steel at POSCO.
The steelmaker currently imports around 2 million tons of coal a year from Vladivostok. If the project proves a success, the consortium will acquire half of the 70-percent stake Russia owns in a joint venture with North Korea called RasonConTrans.
South Korea halted trade with North Korea after the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in 2010 and cannot invest directly in a North Korean business.
A government official said, "The import of Russian resources will boost efforts to link the trans-Korean railway and trans-Siberian railway to a line running all the way to Europe."
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