News / Asia

Russia, South Korea Discuss 'Silk Road' Trade Route

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with South Korean President Park Geun-hye during their meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, shakes hands with South Korean President Park Geun-hye during their meeting at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013.
VOA News
A proposed trade route linking both Koreas with Europe is set to top the agenda at a Wednesday meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his South Korean counterpart.
 
The Russian president's talks with President Park Geun-hye were not expected to yield a breakthrough on the politically challenging, Moscow-led plan, referred to by some as the "Iron Silk Road."
 
The proposal involves linking up the rail networks of North and South Korea, and connecting them to the Trans-Siberia Railway, the world's longest railroad that connects Russia's east and west.
 
It would also call for the development of North Korea's port city of Rajin, making it a hub for exports from the Korean peninsula.
 
The plan faces several challenges, including the rocky nature of North-South relations and the many economic sanctions imposed on Pyongyang because of its nuclear weapons program.
 
Such concerns have made even some less ambitious joint Korean business ventures difficult to manage. This includes the Kaesong industrial complex, which the North shut down for five months following international condemnation of its nuclear test in February.
 
Even still, some in South Korea have shown interest in participating. If there were enough interest, South Korean authorities would seemingly need to lift a law banning investment in North Korea that was passed following Pyongyang's sinking of a South Korean warship in 2010.
 
Despite the many obstacles to the project, Russia has moved forward with what it considers the first part of the plan. In September, it opened a 54-kilometer railway linking its southeast city of Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin.
 
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the 6th Korea-Russia Business Dialog on Wednesday between South Korean and Russian business leaders, where he called for closer economic ties between the two nations.
 
Putin arrived in Seoul earlier in the day and was accompanied by several ministers and officials on his one day state visit.
 
The sixth Korea-Russia Business Dialog was Putin's first official scheduled meeting during his visit to Seoul. About 250 businessmen from the two countries attended the conference.
 
“South Korea's trade volume with Russia is smaller than the one with the United States, Japan and China. It is true that the trade volumes of the United States, Japan and China are big. In spite of that, I'm confident that we can multiply the bilateral trade volume. We can make cooperation in many sectors,” Putin said at the conference.
 
He also said the two countries are making progress on improving bilateral cooperation to advance mutual interests.
 
“South Korea's business community can play an important role in this area [promoting Asia-Pacific investment]. We have exchanged an initiative on the investment promotion. The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Korea Investment Corporation agreed to make a billion-dollar investment platform,” said Putin.
 
The business dialog was founded in 2008 as an official channel of communication between South Korean and Russian companies to promote economic cooperation.
Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid