Construction of a New Bridge Between Russia and North Korea Has Not Been Confirmed Yet
OREANDA-NEWS The problem of lack of cargo flow may arise after the construction of a road bridge across the Tumannaya river between Russia and North Korea.
The discussion of this problem will be one of the main issues at the ninth meeting of the intergovernmental Commission (IGC) on trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation between Russia and North Korea. This opinion was expressed by leading specialist of the Far East in the field of international relations, associate Professor of the Department of international relations of the Far Eastern Federal University Artem Lukin.
Earlier it was reported that one of the key issues on the agenda of the IGC, which will be held in Moscow on March 6, will be the construction of a bridge across the river Tumannaya. At the meeting in Vladivostok, discussing the preparation for the meeting, the representatives of the two countries agreed that the meeting should agree on the basic parameters of the object and develop schemes for its implementation.
"It is not clear what goods will be served by the road bridge. For the existing very modest volume of trade between Russia and North Korea, a railway bridge is more than enough. The growth of trade can occur after the lifting of sanctions against the DPRK, but when it happens and whether it will happen at all, no one knows," Lukin said.
At the same time, he noted that for normal road communication it is necessary to bring the road in the Khasansky district of Primorye into the necessary condition and carry out the same work in the DPRK. In addition, the issue of financing may become acute. "This project will cost at least hundreds of millions of rubles. The current state of the budget is unlikely to build a bridge over the Tumannaya for public money, and private investors usually do not invest in infrastructure projects of this kind because of the extremely long terms of their payback," Lukin said.
The expert recalled that the idea of a road bridge across the border river Tumannaya has been discussed for a long time. The two countries have a common land border along this river, but the only bridge "Druzhba" is a railway and is not able to service road communication.
"This, of course, limits the potential for cooperation between Russia and North Korea. The road bridge, of course, makes sense in the longer term, when the development of economic relations with the DPRK will be more understandable, and the financial situation in Russia and North Korea is better," Lukin said.