North Korea is positive about a Tumen River development project as a pilot project for inter-Korean economic cooperation, and is planning to build crude oil and natural gas transport pipelines between the two Koreas along with Trans Siberian and Trans Korean railway sections covering the regions.
The North Korean Academy of Social Science emphasized in its recent report that the two Koreas can have an increasing role in economic cooperation in Northeast Asia by mending their relationship.
North Korea’s top think tank mentioned the Tumen River region as a linchpin of Northeast Asian economic cooperation. “For about two decades, the Tumen River and Great Tumen River regions have attracted much attention as a main venue of multilateral economic cooperation in Northeast Asia,” the report read. It added, “The construction of crude oil and natural gas pipelines and connection between the railways are increasingly in the limelight these days, too.”
The report is considered to be part of the North’s recent move for fence mending through inter-Korean talks. “If the Korean peninsula is to be able to assume an important role in Northeast Asian economic cooperation, measures should be taken first to relax the tension in the region, and this will lead eventually to an autonomous reunification between the two Koreas not influenced by the United States,” the report continued.
“It seems that North Korea is wishing for a peaceful environment in which it can focus on economic development,” professor Lim Eul-chul at the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University commented.