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(US-NK summit) S. Korean builders gear up for N.K. biz ops after Kim-Trump summit

2018/06/12 18:25

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SEOUL, June 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korean construction companies on Tuesday said they are taking steps to prepare for potential opportunities in North Korea as Pyongyang earlier confirmed its commitment to the denuclearlization of the Korean Peninsula.

The preparations being considered come as U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached an agreement to strive for a "lasting and stable" peace that can greatly ease tensions in the region.

As the government is expected to push forward inter-Korean economic cooperation projects in due course, major construction firms have already formed task force teams or are taking steps to win upcoming social overhead capital (SOC) infrastructure deals in the North.

Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co. recently set up a "North Korean business support team" and has begun to collect related data on potential North Korean SOC projects.

"We expect there will be business opportunities in SOC projects to build roads and railways and establish electricity facilities. We will make preparations to win those projects if economic sanctions on North Korea ease and the suspended inter-Korean economic cooperation resumes," a Daewoo E&C official said.

GS Engineering & Construction Co. said it has begun to consider joining inter-Korean economic cooperation projects but will take a closer look at the government's policy moves.

Builders such as Samsung C&T Corp. and Daelim have also formed task force teams in order not to miss business opportunities in the North. Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and POSCO Engineering & Construction Co. have not established task force teams but are reviewing business opportunities in Pyongyang.

At a time when the construction industry is struggling with weak overseas orders and strict regulations in the housing market, small and medium-sized builders are also looking forward to take part in North Korean building projects, a source at the Construction Association of Korea said.

This photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) at the Capella Hotel in Singapore after signing a landmark agreement aimed at denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on June 12, 2018. (Yonhap) This photo shows U.S. President Donald Trump (R) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (L) at the Capella Hotel in Singapore after signing a landmark agreement aimed at denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula on June 12, 2018. (Yonhap)

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