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`China to lead development of N. Korea’s Rajin port`

Posted December. 17, 2010 10:07,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and Chinese President Hu Jintao agreed in August that China will lead the development of the North Korean port of Rajin, a Chinese source said Thursday.

With the agreement, the two countries have begun full-fledged economic cooperation in the Tumen River basin.

The Chinese source said, “North Korean leader Kim gave a positive answer to President Hu’s suggestion to leave the development of Rajin port in China`s hands when Kim made his second visit to China this year.”

Hu also asked for the right to use the port, to which Kim agreed, the source added.

Chinese ships are thus allowed to use the Tumen River to reach the East Sea from the village of Fangchuan in Huichun, China.

In May, when Hu delivered the same request in Kim`s first visit to China, Kim did not give an answer. Pyongyang, however, has since grown more active in bilateral cooperation.

Shortly after Kim’s second visit to China, the North dispatched officials to lead the development of Rason, a city created from the integration of Rajin and Sonbong. The officials are known to be young and open-minded figures who will exercise a significant degree of autonomy.

The source said, “The number of documents needed to visit both countries has been greatly reduced at the suggestion of North Korea.”

Bilateral economic cooperation projects have produced visible results. The construction of a road linking Huichun and Rajin will begin early next year.

China`s Jilin province also agreed with the North to build the four-lane road and bridges by 2012. The construction is in the design phase and Jilin will foot up to 250 million yuan (37.5 million U.S. dollars).

“Another plan being actively considered is the building of a closed road reserved for China by installing iron fences on both sides of the road,” the source said.