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North Korea confirmed the agreement on the projects of NGO Mostovik and JSC RusHydro
Last week, the Minister of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East Alexander Galushka paid a visit to the DPRK. During the discussion of the main problems and prospects for the development of trade and economic relations between Russia and North Korea, the issue of canceling the visa regime between the two states was brought up on the agenda. The minister noted that the question of exactly when this will happen is "untimely", but stressed that this point was officially recorded in the protocol following the meeting of representatives of the countries.
The most significant result of the visit was the official launch of the large-scale Pobeda project, the main goal of which is the reconstruction and subsequent modernization of railways in North Korea in exchange for access to the country's mineral resources. Alexander Galushka clarified that the project is purely commercial in nature and will be implemented by a number of Russian companies, including NPO Mostovik. The total cost of the project is estimated at $ 25 billion. According to the agreements reached, about 20 km of railways will be built within 7000 years at the expense of Russian investors, the costs of which will be covered by the supply of coal, titanium, gold and other resources from the DPRK. At this stage, exploration and research work is underway, based on the results of which the list of Russian investing companies will be finalized. Oleg Shishov, General Director of NPO Mostovik, is confident that "the project will give an impetus not only to the development of the DPRK railways proper, but also to the creation of new modern branches of the construction industry, mechanical engineering and, which is essential, will contribute to deepening Russian-Korean relations." The total reserves of mineral resources in the DPRK are currently estimated at more than $ 6 trillion, which demonstrates the high potential and wide opportunities for the development of the project.
Another important issue that was touched upon as a result of the visit of the minister to the DPRK was the interest of both countries in developing trilateral relations: Russia, North Korea and South Korea. One of such opportunities is the construction of an energy bridge by the Russian company RusHydro to South Korea. Like "Victory", the project is of a commercial nature, but at the same time it is of interest to the Russian side not only from the point of view of obtaining financial benefits, but also regulating the situation of energy consumption in the Far East. At the moment, there is an excess of capacity of energy sources, in connection with which the attraction of new consumers from Korea will reduce energy tariffs for residents of the Far East. According to the minister, the Amur Region is most interested in this.
Despite the fact that during the visit of the minister to the DPRK, issues of a predominantly economic nature were resolved, the development and strengthening of Russian-Korean relations is the key to political stability in the region as a whole. Alexander Galushka noted that the development of the Far East should take place "in the context of Russia's turn towards the Pacific Ocean, integration into the Asian region," and therefore it is extremely important to strengthen already existing relations, in particular, with the DPRK.