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China Eyeing Development of N. Korean Port

Posted May. 05, 2010 06:57,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il’s visit Tuesday to Dalian, China, is known to reflect Beijing’s interest in resolving the port city’s saturation through the development of the North Korean port of Rajin.

An informed source on the North said Tuesday that Kim’s trip to Dalian was also aimed at benchmarking the city as a model for the North’s development of Rajin. On the second day of his China visit, the reclusive leader toured a pier at Dalian Economic & Technological Development Zone.

A South Korean government official said Kim’s visit to Dalian is related to China’s economic interests as well as aiming to benchmark the port city and attract foreign capital, adding Seoul is watching the situation.

Dalian is a venue for the transport of grain, coal and timber from three northeastern Chinese provinces to southern areas or overseas. Goods are transported on the ground from the provinces to Dalian, from which they are taken elsewhere by ship.

The source said Dalian’s capacity is saturated and the port can no longer handle logistical transportation from the northeastern provinces.

China’s economic benefits from the development of Rajin will be enormous given the expected increase in exports, the source added.

“The North has refused to develop Rajin but is being compelled to open up the port because of its economic crisis. So Kim Jong Il could ask for massive economic assistance from China during his visit,” the source said.