Russia's advanced Sukhoi Su-35S fighter put into operationMilitary & Defense September 19, 14:42
Siberian researchers design key details for Large Hadron ColliderScience & Space September 19, 14:37
Saakashvili vows to take ‘people’s demands’ to Kiev's authorities on October 17World September 19, 13:57
Russia and Paraguay ink cooperation deal on peaceful uses of atomic energyBusiness & Economy September 19, 13:27
Western Military District refutes rumors of journalists hit at Zapad-2017 exerciseMilitary & Defense September 19, 13:05
Press review: Rosneft’s pipeline plans in Iraqi Kurdistan and defense spending cuts likelyPress Review September 19, 13:00
Russia meets all international commitments, including INF Treaty — KremlinRussian Politics & Diplomacy September 19, 12:55
Monument to inventor of world-renowned Kalashnikov rifle unveiled in MoscowSociety & Culture September 19, 12:49
US credit for Ukraine is Kiev-Washington bilateral affair — KremlinRussian Politics & Diplomacy September 19, 12:27
SEOUL, December 10. /ITAR-TASS/. South Korea’s government at its meeting chaired by President Park Geun-hye has approved the plan for the expansion of South Korean presence in the Arctic by means of taking part in international programs, the country’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries reported on Tuesday.
Key steps include taking part in eight projects aimed at preserving the polar region and 10 other research and development undertakings on climate change and other global issues, according to the ministry, Yonhap news agency reported.
“Under the belief that the Arctic needs to be protected before it is developed for economic gains, the country will faithfully fulfill all its responsibilities as an observer on the Arctic Council, including scientific research activities that are aimed at protecting the environment and support for the native people of the Arctic,” the ministry said in a press release.
The measures, approved at a Cabinet meeting held earlier in the day, are follow-ups to what were previously announced in July, two months after the country joined the Arctic Council, which currently consists of eight members with claimed territories in the Arctic and 32 observers, including 11 non-governmental organisations.
The ministry said the government will seek to legislate laws enabling initiation of 31 projects in total, including 10 business development programs, by 2017.
The ministry estimates that the Arctic holds up to 13% of the world's oil deposits, along with 30% of natural gas. In addition, the government will begin reviewing whether to build the country's second icebreaker to add to its first-ever icebreaker Araon commissioned in 2010. South Korea’s ambitious plan comes as the use of shipping routes through the Arctic is growing fast. Last year, 46 shipments carrying 1.25 million tonnes of cargo passed through the North Pole region, up 35% in shipments and 53% in tonnage from a year earlier, according to the ministry.
Using an Arctic route can cut the travel distance between South Korea and northern Europe by 7,000 kilometers and its duration by up to 15 days from the 22,000-kilometer journey that takes up to 40 days when using the conventional shipping route through the Indian Ocean and the Suez Canal.
“It is important for South Korea to become recognized as a country that shares the world's responsibility for the present and future of the Arctic, as the area is more or less controlled by adjacent states,” the ministry emphasized.