A plan for co‐operation in transport between South and North Korea

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  • This article was downloaded by: [McGill University Library]On: 16 October 2014, At: 07:43Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

    Transport Reviews: A TransnationalTransdisciplinary JournalPublication details, including instructions for authors andsubscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/ttrv20

    A plan for cooperation intransport between South andNorth KoreaMyongSop Pak a & TaeYong Kim aa National Sussan University , Namku, Pusan, Korea ,608737Published online: 13 Mar 2007.

    To cite this article: MyongSop Pak & TaeYong Kim (1996) A plan for cooperationin transport between South and North Korea, Transport Reviews: A TransnationalTransdisciplinary Journal, 16:3, 225-241, DOI: 10.1080/01441649608716949

    To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01441649608716949

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  • TRANSPORT REVIEWS, 1996, VOL. 16, No. 3, 225-241

    A plan for co-operation in transport between South andNorth Korea

    By MYONG-SOP PAK and TAE-YONG KIM

    National Sussan University, Nam-ku, Pusan, Korea 608-737

    This paper investigates the setting up and co-ordination of an adequatetransport network between South and North Korea in anticipation of the ultimateunification of the Korean peninsula which occupies an important geopoliticalposition in the transport network of northeast Asia. Such a transport network isanalysed in all modes of transport by sea, land and air.

    1. IntroductionWith the rapid growth of South Korea's economy in recent years, a considerable

    amount of capital and technology has been accumulated, which should become abasis for strengthening economic co-operation with the North, preparing the way torestore the people's homogeneity and achieving peaceful unification. On the otherhand, there is North Korea's shortage of foreign currency and technological back-wardness because of its self-reliant economic policy which is now being changed to apolicy of opening the country.

    Due to the long military and political confrontation between the North andSouth, a communication network between the two nations, whether roads, railways,air or maritime services, does not exist. These would be essential for an activeeconomic exchange. The more economic co-operation between the South and theNorth improves, the higher will be the quantity of goods that have to be transported.Hence the necessity for a connecting transport network is to increase.

    Even if North Korea adopts a policy of promoting the expansion of imports andexports to satisfy the domestic demand, it will be very difficult to solve the question ofinternational transport with the existing infrastructure. A solution could be the useof South Korean transport facilities, but then it would not only be necessary to buildsuitable roads but also to set up an adequate transport network between North andSouth Korea in anticipation of the ultimate unification of the Korean peninsula. Suchan inter-Korean transport system would enable North and South Korea, whichoccupy an important geopolitical position in the transport network of northeast Asia,to become a strategic region that links northeast Asia to Europe and North Americain the transport of people, cargoes and information.

    2. Korean transport policy for economic co-operation in northeast AsiaAs the end of the Cold War era leads to the reshaping of the international order,

    northeast Asia is also seeking out a new inter-relationship. The trend of regionaliza-tion, transformation of the former Soviet Union, China's continued efforts towardsopenness and reform, and North Korea's attempt to expand its external economicrelationship, are basic conditions for the realization of the great developmentpotential.

    The northeast Asia region has become an area which has received a lot ofattention, and is closely watched by the rest of the world community for various

    0144-1647/96 $12.00 1996 Taylor & Francis Ltd.

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  • 226 Myong-Sop Pak and Tae-Yong Kim

    reasons. This area consists of South Korea, North Korea, Japan, Mongolia, China(specifically the provinces of Heilong-Jang, Jilin and Liaoning), Inner Mongolia andthe Russian Far East with a total area of about 10 million square kilometres.According to United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) estimates of1990, the total population of this area is about 320 million people, with a GNP ofabout US $3 500 billion. However, if we include China as a whole, then we will have atotal population of about 1-425 billion or 27% of the total population of the world.

    In the northeast Asia region, we have countries with different levels of develop-ment which could compliment and help each other. They range from an under-developed country like Mongolia to a highly industrialized country like Japan. Thisregion is also endowed with the largest concentration of natural resources in theworld. To develop and utilize these resources, Japan possesses large amounts ofcapital and advanced technology, South Korea has experience in successfullyachieving economic development with quite a high standard of technology andcapital (Noland, 1990). China has a vast labour force which also provides a hugeconsuming power.

    China is the most distinctive case in the region. Since the opening of the country in1978, China has shown a really impressive growth performance. Its annual averagegrowth rate was 10-1% during 1980-1985 and 7-9% during 1985-1990. The growthrate of China's GDP is 8-2% for 1991, 13-4% for 1992 and 1993, and 11-6% for thefirst half of 1994 (Ling, 1994). With a population of 1-2 billion and its economic andnon-economic potential, it seems that China will play a very important role in thecoming century in this region as well as in the world. Some economists predict thatChina will surpass Japan in GNP after 2020 if she keeps her high growth rate in thefuture. With the establishment of a socialist market economy, the total amount ofeconomic income will grow rapidly and the people's standard of living will get closerto that of affluent societies. Transport as the infrastructure of the national economyand social development will then face new situations and new patterns and assume anincreasingly important role.

    On the other hand, Japan and South Korea, both densely populated countries, arepoor in natural resources and depend largely on foreign trade. North Korea hasample mineral resources, and is attempting to liberalize its closed economic structuregradually; it looks likely that North Korea will adopt a Chinese style of market-oriented economy step by step. For example, North Korea is also adopting a limitedopening in the TREDA (Tumen River Economic Development Area) by allowing itto develop as a special export-oriented free economic trade zone along the Chinesemodel. TREDA is an area bordering China, Russia and North Korea (Seol, 1993).

    The Tumen River Economic Development Area (TREDA) project is co-ordinatedand supported by the UNDP on behalf of the five countries signatory to the October1991 Tumen River Area Development Programme (TRADP) agreement: SouthKorea, North Korea, China, Russia and Mongolia. The long-term goal of thisproject is twofold: to develop the region as the hub of transport and as the centre ofprocessing and manufacturing industry. The achievement of these two goals is verylikely to turn Tumen River area into an epicentre, like Hong Kong.

    The Tumen river flows mostly along the Korea-China border, but also along theKorea-Russia border over a distance of 15 kilometres between Fangchuan in Chinaand the East sea (sea of Japan). TREDA basically consists of that terrain locatedwithin conceptual boundary lines drawn from Chongjin in North Korea, throughYanji in China to Nakhodka in Russia. TREDA specifically incorporates the Najin/

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  • Co-operation in transport between South and North Korea 227

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