Progress Made on Pipeline Project

The Republic of Korea Ambassador to Russia, former chief nuclear negotiator Wi Sung Lac, says there has been progress on a gas pipeline connecting Russia, North Korea and South Korea.

“At the moment it is at the stage of enterprises discussing commercial conditions, and I am aware that there has been progress. North Korea and Russia are also discussing issues of transit and transit fees via working-level consultations,” he explained to reporters on a visit to Seoul today.

Wi would not be drawn on what kind of progress has been achieved, saying, “It’s about commercial details and so is hard to explain, but it appears there has been progress on supply quantities and supply conditions.”

However, he was much less bullish on the issue of inter-Korean relations, saying, “The conditions now are not as good as they were at the time of the 1st and 2nd inter-Korean denuclearization talks last year. Improving inter-Korean relations is looking more difficult. If conditions (for discussion) can be shaped in short order then good; if the timeframe gets extended then it won’t be easy.”