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South Korea, Norway seek to step up cooperation in building Arctic shipping route

November 17, 2014, 11:00 UTC+3 SEOUL
“We are pursuing a course towards strengthening Seoul’s cooperation with the Arctic states, including Russia,” South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said
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© ITAR-TASS/Press Service of Geological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences

SEOUL, November 17. /TASS/. South Korea and Norway plan to increase joint cooperation in the Arctic, including the development of a new shipping route, and are due to discuss the issue at the talks in Oslo on November 18, South Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said on Monday.

During the upcoming talks, the sides are expected to seek to further boost their cooperation by exchanging information on ensuring safe navigation of cruise ships and the countries’ effort to develop shipping and cruise industry.

“It is expected that the process of fulfilling joint projects on promoting the use of the Arctic sea routes will be assessed and the ways of improving them will be discussed,” the ministry said.

“We are pursuing a course towards strengthening Seoul’s cooperation with the Arctic states, including Russia, as part of our efforts to develop a new shipping route through the polar region,” the ministry said.

Last year, South Korea, with the support of Russia, for the first time delivered cargo to the south of the Korean Peninsula through the Northern Sea Route via the polar region.

The Arctic region, according to various estimates, has up to 30% of the world’s untapped reserves of natural gas and 17% of oil reserves, the Yonhap news agency reported.

The new shipping route can cut the voyage distance from South Korea to northern European countries by up to 7,000 kilometers from the 22,000-kilometer journey when using the conventional shipping route through the Indian Ocean.

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