KCNA reports that a groundbreaking ceremony for a new management board building at the Hwanggumphyong Economic Zone (HGP EZ) took place on 2012-9-15:
Ground-breaking Ceremony for Hwanggumphyong EZ Management Board Building Held
Pyongyang, September 15 (KCNA) — A ground-breaking ceremony for a building of the management board for the Hwanggumphyong Economic Zone to be jointly developed and run by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and China, took place on Hwanggumphyong Islet on Saturday.
Present there were Hong Kil Nam, vice-chairman of the North Phyongan Provincial People’s Committee, and officials concerned in the province and Sinuiju City from the DPRK side and Bing Zhigang, vice-governor of the Liaoning Provincial People’s Government of China and officials concerned in the province and Dandong City from the Chinese side.
Speeches were made at the ceremony.
The speakers noted that after leader Kim Jong Il and President Hu Jintao reached an agreement on jointly developing and managing the two economic zones, a series of issues have been settled for the development of the Hwanggumphyong Economic Zone, with a substantial progress made.
They stressed that the joint development and operation of the zone would be conducive to furthering the DPRK-China friendly relations sealed in blood and attaining co-prosperity.
A ground-breaking milestone was erected there.
The Daily NK adds the following:
North Korea hopes that the groundbreaking ceremony will mark the beginning of serious SEZ development at Hwanggeumpyong, which remained a sleepy agricultural backwater even after last June’s launching ceremony, a fact that led to rampant speculation about problems related to the legal framework for the development of the area.
However, development began to accelerate once again after Jang Sung Taek, the director of the Chosun Workers’ Party Department of Administration, concluded the establishment of the management committee during his visit to China last month.
Rhetoric emerging from the Chinese side is also more positive than it has been for some time. In a recent media interview, the deputy mayor of Dandong, which borders Shinuiju, commented, “Now that the Hwanggeumpyong Management Committee has been established, construction has begun on basic infrastructure including roads. From the 15th, the business of developing Hwanggeumpyong will formally begin.”
“Both governments have decided to develop Hwanggeumpyong first then go on to discuss the development of Wihwa Island,” he added. “When the construction of the New Yalu River Bridge and bridges to Hwanggeumpyong and Wihwado are complete, China-North Korea trade, culture, travel and other exchanges will become more active and the two countries will grow closer.”
1. Chinese working to attract investment (2012-9-14)
2. On Jang Song-thaek’s recent visit to China (2012-8-23)
3. Yalu River Bridge (2011-6-25)
4. HGP Announced (2011-6-14)
5. Laws governing HGP (2012-3-19)