Posts tagged ‘Russia’
November 2, 2011
On 1 November 2011, President Lee Myung-bak arrived in St. Petersburg for summit talks with Russian Federation President, Dmitry Medvedev. On the agenda is North Korea’s nuclear program; bilateral economic cooperation; and the proposed natural gas pipeline project to transport Russian natural gas from Siberia to South Korea via Vladivostok and North Korea. Read more
September 28, 2011
On 27 September 2011, the Ministry of Unification released a statement approving a plan by Grand National Party (GNP) Chairman Hong Joon Pyo and four other members to visit the Gaeseong industrial complex. Hong will meet business leaders and officials at the complex and also engage in discussions on other bilateral issues, including the Russian proposal to build a natural-gas pipeline to the ROK transiting the DPRK. Read more
September 25, 2011
On 24 September 2011, the prospects of a return to the presidency for Vladimir Putin were bolstered by an announcement confirming his candidature for the March 2012 presidential elections at the annual congress of the leading party, United Russia. Read more
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. Read more
February 23, 2011
On 22 February 2011, in an event that went largely unnoticed, the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-sure) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) signed an agreement to coordinate the provision of trade insurance for joint projects undertaken by Japanese and Korean companies in third countries. Read more
February 2, 2011
On 1 February 2011, the Ministry of Science, Education and Technology confirmed that a fourth round of meetings with Russian officials, held 24-27 December 2010, had failed to achieve a consensus on the causes for the failure of the second Naro-1 launch.
The second launch of the Naro-1 on 10 June 2010, failed 137 seconds into the flight. The first launch of the Naro-1 on 25 August 2009, failed due to the unsuccessful detachment of fairings on the second-stage vehicle. Differences over the cause of the second launch failure are unlikely to be resolved with both sides unable to agree upon a way to overcome the current impasse.
A third launch is required under the current technology cooperation agreement. A third launch requires the construction another first-stage vehicle. In purely financial terms, this will prove more costly to Russia than cancelling the agreement. This has heightened tension, which has existed between Korean and Russian staff since cooperation began, with the former seeking to maximise and the latter seeking to minimise access to technology.
Despite the tension, cooperation is likely to continue with Russian policymakers seeking to use its capability in aviation, defence and space-related technology to lower Russia’s long outstanding debt to Korea, estimated to be around USD560 million.
January 7, 2011
On 5 January 2011, the Ministry of Strategy and Finance (MOSF) stated that food will be included in the price control measures to be announced on 13 January 2011.
In 2010, Korea’s average inflation rate remained within target levels at 2.9 percent, however, food prices reached 16-year highs in the second half of the year. The price rises in basic commodities in December 2010 and the ongoing impact of Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD), are now beginning to flow through to consumers, with substantial price rises expected as Lunar New Year approaches.
The rapid rise in food prices is not unique to Korea. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has stated that the global food price index for December 2010 was at its highest level since records began in 1990. Concerns regarding rapid food price rises have already prompted government action in China, India, Indonesia, Singapore and Taiwan. Measures have included direct control over prices, the release of government stockpiles and the encouragement of private production.
The Lee Myung-Bak administration has strongly promoted its efforts to fight inflation and the price control measures to be announced on 13 January 2011 have attracted substantial media interest. This presents a risk that the administration will be perceived as ineffective as prices continue to rise due to external conditions.