Russia, North Korea to Discuss Infrastructure Projects

Russia says it will soon discuss cooperation regarding infrastructure construction projects with North Korea.

Moscow’s Minister for Development of the Far East, Alexander Kozlov, said in an interview with Russia’s RIA news agency that experts from the two countries will meet in the Far East region later this month over the matter.

It appears that they will specifically talk about building bridges over the Tumen River.

North Korea’s Vice Minister of External Economic Affairs Ri Kwang-geun visited Russia in April and suggested to Acting Governor of the Primorye Territory Andrei Tarasenko that they advance efforts to jointly construct bridges over the river that runs along their shared borders.

The Russia-North Korea border, following the Tumen River and its estuary in the far northeast, is just 18 kilometers long. There is one lone crossing, dubbed the “Friendship Bridge”. It opened in 1959 and offers the two nations a fairly basic rail connection.

Though the planning appears to be at a preliminary stage, the project may show that Russia and North Korea are looking toward a trading future beyond sanctions and military tensions.

The two nations have long suggested a crossing that would allow vehicles to go between them without a lengthy detour through China.