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Seoul Continues To Buck U.S. War Plans, Proceeds with Russia/North Korea Development Project

July 13, 2014 (EIRNS)—Only days after Xi Jinping’s historic visit to South Korea—countering massive U.S. pressure on Seoul to join the anti-China campaign—the South has now deployed a powerful business delegation to the North to move forward on the Russia/ North Korea/South Korea development plan centered on the North Korean port of Rajin near the Russian and Chinese borders. This is the centerpiece of the Eurasian collaboration which intends to solve the Korean issue through development, not confrontation, that addresses the common interests of all the nations—and emphatically those of North Korea as well.

The official South Korean news service Yonhap reports today that a group of 38 South Korean government officials and representatives from a consortium comprising three huge South Korean companies will visit the North Tuesday July 15 for a week-long feasibility study on the Rajin-Khasan logistics project, the unification ministry said. The project is designed to make Rajin a logistics hub by linking it to Russia’s Trans-Siberian railway.

The first on-site inspection was made in February, by the same three corporations—the state-run railroad operator KORAIL, the largest steelmaker POSCO, and the second-largest shipping company, Hyundai Merchant Marine Co. "The visit is aimed at assessing the viability of the project. The government plans to provide necessary assistance, considering the trust between Seoul and Moscow and other factors," the ministry said. They earlier said that a formal deal between the consortium and its Russian counterpart for the project will be signed in the second half of the year.

North Korea owns a 30 percent stake in the joint venture, with Russia holding the rest. The South Korean firms are considering buying 50 percent of Russia’s stake. Last September, Russia reopened a 54-kilometer stretch of railroad track linking Khasan, a Russian eastern border city, and Rajin after a five-year renovation. China has also completed a highway from its landlocked northeast, and is building a port at Rajin.

The project is a major part of South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s "Eurasian Initiative," announced during the visit to Seoul by Russian President Putin last November.