China to send $10 billion investment to DPRK

UPDATE: According to the Daily NK, South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS) claims $10 billion transfer is not likely:

The director of the NIS, Won Sei Hoon passed on the confirmation to a closed-door meeting of the Intelligence Committee of the National Assembly on Tuesday, after which members Chung Jin Suk of the Grand National Party and Park Young Sun of the Democratic Party revealed it to the press.

According to the two lawmakers, Won told the Committee, “Although North Korea is likely going around trying to invite 10 billion dollars of foreign investment, it seems that they have not attracted that much capital,” before predicting, “Unless the North solves the nuclear problem, it will be almost impossible to attract that much capital.”

He did add, however, “The Cabinet, Workers’ Party, military authorities and National Defense Commission have all seemingly been moving to try and obtain foreign capital. The appeasement attitude shown to the international community may be a part of their efforts to solve the problem of a lack of foreign currency.”

During the closed-doors meeting, Won also gave his opinion on a wide range of other issues pertaining to North Korea, including the inter-Korean dialogue and the truth of Kim Jong Il’s health status.

“It is not a deadlock situation because there is still dialogue,” Won said of the inter-Korean relationship. However, “Since North Korea’s attitude has not changed yet; it will take more time to resume the tours of Mt. Geumgang and Kaesong.”

Commenting on Kim Jong Il’s probable health condition, Won revealed that Kim has been making an effort to appear healthy, for example by removing age spots on his face, but, “While he has been visiting industrial sites, he has expressed nervousness about current issues and economic problems, and has a sharpened temper. His tendency of relying on old acquaintances and family members has been increasing.”

However, “I believe there is zero possibility of a coup. For the time being, it seems that the North Korean leadership can control its domestic society.”

ORIGINAL POST: According to Yonhap:

During his four-day visit to Pyongyang, the source said [Wang Jiarui, head of the international department of the Communist Party of China] held in-depth discussions about investments by Chinese companies via Daepung Group, an investment company that works to attract overseas capital to the communist state.

Total investments are expected to exceed the $10 billion mark, with a signing ceremony planned by North Korea’s State Development Bank in mid-March that is to be attended by foreign investors from involved nations, the source said.

“Over 60 percent of total investments, which will be announced next month, will come from China,” the source added, suggesting the Chinese government’s close involvement in building railways, ports and houses in North Korea.

China is North Korea’s biggest trading partner and an important provider of food and fuel. North Korea remains isolated from most of the world and has received virtually no foreign investment. The North’s GDP was estimated at around $26.2 billion in 2008 compared with $1.3 trillion for the South, according to the U.S. State Department.

Read more about the Korea Taepung International Investment Group and the DPRK State Development Bank here.

Read the full story below:
N. Korea draws US$10 billion in foreign investments: source
Yonhap
2/15/2010

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  • Peter

    This Feb 2010 Yonhap story bears an uncannily close resemblance to the June 2007 Yonhap-via-Bloomberg $10B investment deal story that you’ve previously reported under the Daepung Investment Group tag. Same emphasis on development of railways, ports, etc.

    Is this just the 2007 deal dressed up in new clothes, perhaps following a suspension of PRC investment as a result of DPRK nuclear testing? Or is this an entirely new (or largely symbolic?) Chinese investment?

    Or just something else altogether. . .

  • Benoit

    Seems to be BS and unprobable.
    It’s probably $10 million, not 10 billion.

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