Two Koreas to conduct on-site survey of three mines in the North


South and North Korea will start a joint on-site survey this week of three zinc and magnesite mines in the North’s mountainous northeastern region, the Unification Ministry said Friday.

“The zinc deposit in Komdok mine is about 200-300 million tons, the largest in East Asia, and magnesite deposits in Ryongyang and Taehung are about 4 billion tons, the world’s third largest,” a ministry official said.

Ahead of the 15-day joint survey of the mines starting from Saturday, the South started shipment of light industry materials worth US$80 million to the North on Wednesday. The first shipment was 5 million tons of polyester fabric worth $800,000.

Earlier this month, the two Koreas agreed on how to cooperate in natural resource exploration in the North in return for the South’s provision of light industry materials.

In 2005, South Korea agreed to offer industrial raw materials to the North to help it produce clothing, footwear and soap starting in 2006. In return, the North was to provide the South with minerals after mines were developed with South Korean investments guaranteed by Pyongyang.

But the accord was not implemented, as North Korea abruptly cancelled the scheduled test runs of inter-Korean cross-border trains in May last year, apparently under pressure from its powerful military. The two Koreas carried out the historic test run of trains across their heavily armed border in mid-May.


Comments are closed.