August 30, 2011
On 30 August 2011, Grand National Party (GNP) Chairman, Hong Joon-Pyo was reported by Yonhap news as stating that the construction natural gas and energy transmission infrastructure from the Russian Far East and Siberia, through North Korea to South Korea has the potential to unite the two Koreas behind a joint project.
This statement opens the debate on what will be an increasingly contentious issue in South Korean politics. The prospect of energy cooperation provides a strong platform for those supporting a return to reconciliation with North Korea.
It also opens the possibility of cooperation between those supporting a return to reconciliation with North Korea and industry groups, who view the project solely in terms of construction contracts and relatively cheaper energy.