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(LEAD) S. Korea's Jeju Island to build 'black pig' farm in Pyongyang

All Headlines 10:16 January 16, 2009

(ATTN: UPDATES with detail, official's quote)

SEOUL, Jan. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Jeju Island will send equipment to build a pig farm in Pyongyang on Friday to raise the island's local specialty, black pigs, officials said.

Black pigs, or "heuk-doe-ji" in Korean, are native to the semi-tropical island. They are covered in black hair, and the meat is popular for being chewy and rich in nutrients.

Jeju will send farm equipment worth 220 million won (US$159,190), such as pens, feeders, heat lamps and ventilators, later on Friday aboard a ship also carrying tangerines and carrots as part of the island's annual aid to the North. When the farm is completed, possibly by May, the island will ship 100 black pigs that can farrow.

"We expect this will help provide nutrition for children and the elderly in the North and pass down our breeding expertise. Jeju Island is a clean area free from animal infectious diseases," Kang Won-myoung, a provincial official handling the pig project, said over the telephone.

The Jeju provincial government set up the "South-North Black Pig Breeding Cooperation Project" with North Korea when a group of Jeju citizens and officials visited Pyongyang in late 2007. The project was suspended for about a year amid frozen inter-Korean relations until North Korea formally requested to start the farming last September, the island officials said.

The "Jeju Black Pig Farm" will be built inside Pyongyang Pig Farm, North Korea's largest such facility, established in 1972.


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