SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) – Officials from South Korean companies set to participate in an economic project between Pyongyang and Moscow will visit North Korea this week for an on-site inspection, the government said Sunday.
The unification ministry said 18 officials from three South Korean firms will visit North Korea’s northeastern port of Rajin from Tuesday to Thursday. The companies are state-run Korea Railroad Corp. (KORAIL), top steelmaker POSCO, and No. 2 shipper Hyundai Merchant Marine. No government official will join the trip, the ministry said.
Their inspection is part of South Korea’s participation in the Rajin-Khasan development project, the Russian-led rail and port development venture in North Korea.
It’s designed to develop Rajin into a logistics center linked to Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway. Last September, a double-track railway reopened between Rajin and Khasan, the nearby Russian town, after years of renovation.
In their summit meeting in Seoul last November, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to help South Korean firms join the Rajin-Khasan project.
Also last year, President Park unveiled her plan to expand economic cooperation with Eurasian nations, dubbed the Eurasian Initiative. The policy is built on the idea that exchanges between South Korea and Eurasian nations, in particular Russia, could help induce the reclusive North Korea to open up and alleviate tensions on the Korean Peninsula.