SEOUL, Jun. 15 (Korea Bizwire) — The recent summit between North Korea and the U.S. has many people wondering if South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s “new economic initiative” will gain momentum now that North-South relations have begun to thaw.
During President Moon’s own meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Moon gave Kim a USB drive outlining a number of economic projects that could see light if inter-Korean relations improved.
The Korean Peninsula New Economic Initiative is a proposal that was first developed during the 2012 elections, when Moon was vying for the presidency against Park Geun-hye, the ousted former president.
The specific contents of the USB were not revealed, prompting a high-level official to state that not even top government officials knew what was on the USB drive.
However, what is known about the initiative so far is that it includes “three economic cooperative belts” under a single market.
Lee Jae-yeong, the head of the Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, said that Moon’s plan could even push the joint North-South economy to the seventh-largest economy in the world, up from South Korea’s current ranking of eleventh.
The three belts mentioned in Moon’s plan are related to energy, transportation, and eco-tourism.
The energy belt would transmit electricity from the South to North, including the “northern triangle” linking Busan and the eastern coast of the peninsula with China and Russia, and the “southern triangle” connecting Najin, Sonbong Harbor and Japan’s Port Nigata.
The second belt of industry, logistics, and transportation would encompass the construction of a railway line through a chain of cities from South to North including Mokpo, Yeosu, Incheon, Haeju, Kaesong, Mokpo and Shanghai, allowing for a smoother and more convenient mode of transport of goods.
The second belt also incorporates plans to link Seoul to Beijing via an express highway.
Lastly, the eco-tourism belt is expected to be situated in and around the current demilitarized zone, where both South and North Korea would cooperate to preserve the ecosystem and the greenery in the region.
H. S. Seo (firstname.lastname@example.org)