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Asia Update: The Korean Peninsulas turning point

May 10, 2018
Analyst:
The Panmunjom Declaration by the two Koreas reiterates their earlier calls not only for a permanent peace and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but also for economic cooperation as set forth in the 2007 Declaration. The latter identifies various infrastructure projects that would see South Korea integrated into the Eurasian continent through North Korea. These could result in significant cuts to South Korea's transportation and fuel costs. Moreover, broader economic cooperation between the two Koreas would give South Korea access not only to North Korea's cheap, literate, and highly organized labor but also its vast natural resources. Although the Panmunjom Declaration also calls for disarmament of the two Koreas, any significant progress in this area, as well as in broader economic cooperation, depends on a potential US-NK nuclear deal. Given past experience, the negotiation and implementation of a US-NK agreement is likely to take many months at least. In this report, we discuss potential benefits that South Korea could enjoy from economic cooperation with North Korea. [more]

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7.6.3