News / Asia

    Russia Seeks Investment And Trade In South Korea

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands before their press conference  in Seoul, South Korea. Medevev is on an official visit to South Korea. Twenty world leaders, including Medvedev, will come togethe
    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, left, and South Korean President Lee Myung-bak shake hands before their press conference in Seoul, South Korea. Medevev is on an official visit to South Korea. Twenty world leaders, including Medvedev, will come togethe
    James Brooke

    On Russia's coat of arms, the double-headed eagle looks west and east.  Russia's president is now in South Korea, promoting energy sales to Korea and Korean investment in Russia. 

    Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev is promoting a 40-year deal to sell gas to South Korea, and appealing for Korean industrial investment to help diversify Russia's economy.

    Russia's leader said in Seoul his country is interested in the arrival of Korean investors.  He says they bring in modern technologies and introduce a modern culture of production.

    Looking for bricks and mortar investments from Asia, Russians like to cite South Korea's Lotte group, which opened a 300-room luxury hotel in September in downtown Moscow.

    At the same time, Hyundai opened a $500-million auto assembly plant in St. Petersburg.  Supplied by Korean auto parts plants set up nearby, the Hyundai plant has the highest percentage of locally produced content of any foreign carmaker in Russia.

    With Samsung and LG, employing  hundreds of Russian scientists at their research centers in Russia, President Medvedev called for more such 'modernization alliances'.  In Seoul this week, Russians are in talks with Korean companies to build ships, electric transformers, and offshore oil drilling platforms in Vladivostok, Russia's major port on the Pacific.

    Russian expert on Korean affairs Leonid Petrov  now teaches at the University of Sydney.

    ''Regrettably, the eastern part of Russia is still under developed and under-populated," Petrov explains, "and Russia is trying to look at Korea as a potential developer and investor, and competitor to the Chinese developers and investor."

    In the gas deal under negotiation, potentially worth $100-billion, the Korean Gas Corporation would also build a liquefied natural gas plant in Vladivostok.

    The chief operating officer of Gazprom, Russia's state-controlled gas producer, Alexei Miller, tells reporters in Seoul that Russia sees a big future in gas exports to Asia.

    While Europe remains Gazprom's top priority, he said, the volume of Russian gas deliveries to the Asian market could reach the level of gas exports to Europe within a very short period time.

    Last year, South Korea started importing Russian oil through a new Siberian pipeline and Russian liquefied natural gas from Sakhalin Island.  With Russia-Korea trade jumping in the past decade, diplomats from both countries are negotiating a visa-free visitor plan.

    Not all is roses with Korea.

    Last spring, South Korea's embassy in Moscow appealed to Russian authorities to protect the 2,000 South Korean students in Russia.  In two attacks blamed on skinheads, one Korean student was killed and another was injured.

    At the same time, North Korea blocks construction of gas and rail lines that would link South Korea's booming economy with the riches of Russia's Siberia.  For the past two decades, Professor Petrov has watched as Russia and South Korea failed to overcome North Korean opposition to such transit links.

    "The main problem in this region is the black hole of North Korea which is on the way between Russia, China and South Korea.  And you cannot do much about it because you have to decide whether the pipe is going to go through the North Korean territory and then Pyongyanag is going to hijack and shipment any transit of oil and gas or electricity from Russia or China to South Korea and it becomes unpredictable," Petrov said.

    Russia's president touched on the potential instability of North Korea.  Before arriving in Seoul, he told a South Korean newspaper he is "uneasy" that North Korea's nuclear-bomb testing range is slightly more than 100 kilometers from Vladivostok.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.