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Harbor facilities to be built on islands near border with NK

Harbor facilities to be built on islands near border with NK

Posted December. 28, 2010 09:55,   


South Korea will build large harbor facilities on its five islands in the Yellow Sea to better reinforce its response to national security threats, the Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry said Monday.

The ministry unveiled this plan in its 2011 policy report to President Lee Myung-bak.

○ Accommodating larger ships

Only 1,000-ton or smaller vessels can dock at these islands, something which limited Seoul’s ability to deploy maritime patrol vessels there after North Korea’s Nov. 23 attack on Yeonpyeong Island. The construction of harbor facilities will allow better defense and management of strategically important islands and help naval evacuation in emergency situations.

Harbor facilities will be built on the islands of Baengnyeong, Yeonpyeong and Daecheong in the western area, the islands of Ulleung, Dokdo, Gageo, Daeheuksan and Chuja off the eastern coast, and the harbors of Hwasun and Gangjeong on Jeju Island. These areas are at high risk for a North Korean provocation and territorial dispute and are frequently trespassed by Chinese shipping boats.

The harbor facilities are also needed for balanced growth of South Korean coastal areas.

A ministry official said, “The construction is economically unfeasible for now. We will revise maritime law by November next year and build harbor facilities there that can accommodate ships 5,000 tons and larger, maritime vessels and patrol ships.”

Seoul will establish a basic plan on facility size based on conditions of each harbor after the law revision is made. Sadong Harbor on Ulleung Island will be developed in two stages, a breakwater will be built on Dokdo, and Gangjeong Harbor in Jeju Island will be turned into a complex with both public and private investment. Hwasun will be developed into an exclusive maritime police harbor.

○ Management after completion of four-river restoration

The ministry also unveiled plans on post-management of the four-river restoration project set for completion next year. A water management system linking the four rivers with the dams and reservoirs nationwide will be built by June next year.

Forty-three national and 3,771 regional rivers will also be revamped.

Bank protection works will be done gradually to develop areas near the four rivers. From June next year, 20 waterfront cities using water from the four rivers will be created, starting with waterfront development in the Geumo and Gwangju streams.

In transportation, work will start on building new KTX bullet-train routes linking Suwon and Pyeongtaek in Gyeonggi Province and Osong and Gwangju in the Jeolla provinces slated for completion in 2014. Lines connecting Jeonju, Namwon, Suncheon and Yeosu in the Jeolla provinces will be finished next year and those between Jinju and Incheon International Airport will go online in 2012.