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S. Korea, Greenland discuss ways to explore resources in Arctic region
SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- President Lee Myung-bak and Greenland's Premier Kuupik Kleist held talks on Thursday and discussed ways to jointly explore mineral resources in the Arctic region and develop shipping routes there, officials said Thursday.

   Premier Kleist of the Danish autonomous territory arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for a five-day visit to seek follow-up measures after Lee's visit to Greenland in September.

   In September, Lee and Kleist signed four memorandums of understanding calling for cooperation in resources development, a geological survey, and Arctic science and technology, laying the groundwork for "green growth" and sustainable development of the Arctic region.


At the Thursday talks, Lee and Kleist agreed to deepen the cooperative ties between South Korea and Greenland in the areas of economy, trade, climate change and environment, presidential officials said.

   South Korea seeks to help Greenland develop its oil and mineral resources. According to the U.S. Geologic Survey, about 17 billion barrels of oil are estimated to be buried along Greenland's western coast, with another 31.4 billion barrels along the northwestern coast.

   Greenland is also believed to be holding the world's largest reserves of rare earth materials. At least 10 regions have been confirmed to be holding the increasingly important resources, with the southern region holding enough reserves to meet 25 percent of global demand, officials said.