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Expert urges factual study and staff training to modernize N.K. ports

2018/05/16 15:51

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BUSAN, May 16 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean scholar on Wednesday called for surveying North Korea's port facilities and pushing for the training of the North's port operators as the first step in the upcoming inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Woo Su-han, a professor of international logistics at Chungang University in Seoul, said the strengthening of inter-Korean relations and exchanges is expected to lead to various cooperation projects in the port industry.

"In the early stages of inter-Korean cooperation, sea ports should play an important role in transportation infrastructure. Thus, North Korea's ports should be renovated and connectivity with roads and railroads should be improved," Woo said at a seminar here on Busan's role in achieving inter-Korean cooperation in the port industry.

"To achieve the goal, a survey of North Korean port facilities and operations should come first. In addition, the training of staff that will operate the North's ports will be necessary," the professor argued.

A map of the nine major ports in North Korea (Yonhap) A map of the nine major ports in North Korea (Yonhap)

North Korea's seaborne trade is mostly conducted by its nine major ports, including Sonbong, Rajin, Chongjin, Nampho and Wonsan, according to Woo.

But the North Korean ports are mostly outdated and lack moorings for large ships and container facilities, he noted.

The professor then proposed that cooperation in the field be carried out gradually in four areas -- manpower training, a port policy study, port facility improvement and buildup of a shipping network.

ycm@yna.co.kr

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