06 Feb '11, 6am

China to explore N. Korean minerals

SEOUL: North Korea will this month sign an agreement to allow Chinese companies to explore its potentially vast mineral wealth, a report said Sunday, as the poverty-stricken nation seeks to boost its economy. Yonhap news agency said officials of the two countries will sign a deal to jointly develop the North's mineral deposits in Beijing on February 15, a day before the birthday of Pyongyang's leader Kim Jong-Il. South Korea estimates the total value of mineral deposits in North Korea at 6.3 trillion dollars. "The agreement contains a specific list of mines to be developed...including gold, anthracite coal and rare earth mineral mines," Yonhap quoted a source familiar with North Korean affairs as saying. Under the agreement the two communist nations will open a Hong Kong-based firm to seek investment from private Chinese companies, the source was quoted as saying. As well ...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific_bu...

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