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article: Korea (South Korea or future united Korea) to be next superpower

CougarKing

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Will this new "Silk Road" trading route actually integrate the two Koreas more and push them further towards reunification? And isn't this already a stretch of the ancient silk road comparison, considering that the original one actually stretched from the Middle East to just present-day Xinjiang?

Putin in S. Korea to push new 'Silk Road' via N. Korea

quote:

Seoul (AFP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin was in South Korea Wednesday to push a pet project for a new major trading route linking Asia and Europe by rail that requires prying open North Korea.

Putin hopes his brief visit will include the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the ambitious project, which envisages an "Iron Silk Road" uniting the rail networks of South and North Korea and connecting them to Europe via the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Russia took a first step in September, when it completed a 54-kilometre (33-mile) track from the its southeast border town of Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin.

Located in the far northeast, where the borders of North Korea, Russia and China converge, Rajin offers a warm-water port for the North's two giant neighbours.

Putin's desire is to see the rail link extended through North Korea, across the world's last Cold War frontier, and all the way down to the southern South Korean port of Busan.

Media reports say Russia is looking for South Korea to take a 34 percent share in the project, with Moscow holding 36 percent and Pyongyang 30 percent.

...

"The idea itself makes perfect sense from a trade and economic viewpoint," [North Korean expert Andrei] Lankov told AFP.

"But this is clearly going to cost billions of dollars and what companies are going to risk that much investment with North Korea in the current climate?" Lankov asked.

"I'm sure North Korea will be keen, because once it got started, it would provide Pyongyang with a new project to manipulate and use to pressure others," he added.

Lankov said the same financial and political risks applied to plans to build a pipeline to supply both Koreas with Russian natural gas.

Observers highlight the precedent of the Kaesong industrial zone jointly run by North and South Korea, which Pyongyang unilaterally shut down in April as military tensions surged.

The zone reopened in September, but South Korean factory owners said they lost a small fortune during the five-month closure.

Yahoo News
 

CougarKing

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As China prepares to launch its first probe to the moon next month, South Korea plans its own unmanned moon mission...

Huffington Post


South Korea Unveils Ambitious Moon-Lander Plans

South Korea has unveiled designs for its planned Moon lander, a key part of President Park Geun-hye’s pledge to revitalize the country’s aerospace industry and space program.

The uncrewed module — of which a scaled-down mock-up was unveiled to the press on 22 October — will travel on board a Korea Space Launch Vehicle-2 rocket and is designed to carry a lunar rover weighing 10–20 kilograms, which will look for signs of rare minerals on the Moon’s surface. A robotic orbiter will also circle above the lunar landscape for more than a year at an altitude of about 100 km.

Fifteen government-funded research institutions, led by the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI) in Daejeon, have agreed to start collaborating in 2014 to develop foundation technologies for the mission next year, the country's Ministry of Science has said.

Since Park took office in February, the mission has been designated a central national objective, with the president bringing forward the launch date from 2025 to 2020 in a bid to accelerate the project. KARI has spent 10 billion Korean won (US$ 9.3 million) on lunar research since 2010, and an estimated 700 billion won is needed to complete the project by 2020, according to local reports.


NASA support


Challenges faced by the project so far have included the development of propulsion, guidance, navigation and control systems for the rocket. A KARI official told Nature that the organization hopes to make progress in part through cooperation with NASA

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CougarKing

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E.R. Campbell said:
The F-35 is, certainly, a superior airplane. The question is: does SK need it? My guess is still No.

Seems Seoul disagrees with you since they are officially getting the JSF.

Defense News

South Korea Officially Selects F-35
Mar. 24, 2014 - 09:54AM  |  By AARON MEHTA 

WASHINGTON — The Republic of Korea has officially selected the F-35 as its next-generation fighter, the government announced this morning.

The country has agreed to purchase 40 of the F-35A conventional-takeoff-and-landing design, with first delivery planned for 2018. South Korea becomes the third foreign military sales customer for the F-35, joining Israel and Japan. There are eight other international partners on the program.

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CougarKing

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E.R. Campbell said:
    China cannot afford to lose South Korea as a friend.

 

This update below highlights just how much importance China places on its relationship with Seoul over its relationship with Pyongyang.

China's Xi heads to South Korea in 'message' to North

China's Xi Jinping will visit Seoul next week, both sides said Friday, going to the South for his first presidential journey to the Korean peninsula as Beijing's frustrations mount with the nuclear-armed North and its confrontational young leader Kim Jong-Un.

China is the North's key ally, energy provider and diplomatic protector, their ties sealed in the Korean War, and sees its neighbour as a buffer against finding US troops stationed on its own border.

Beijing and Seoul only established diplomatic ties in 1992 after decades of Cold War hostility and suspicion, but it will be the second summit between Xi and South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, who visited China soon after she took office last year.

The July 3-4 visit will discuss "ways to cooperate on issues related to the situation on the Korean peninsula, including the North Korean nuclear issue", South Korea's presidential Blue House said in a statement.


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