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Two Koreas can cooperate in chemistry, biotech and nano science: report

All Headlines 10:15 January 06, 2010

SEOUL, Jan. 6 (Yonhap) -- Inter-Korean cooperation is possible in the chemistry, biotech and nano science arenas, where the technology gap separating the two countries is the smallest, a report by a state-run think tank said Wednesday.

The latest "Issue and Policy" report by the Science and Technology Policy Institute said North Korea has traditionally been strong in the polymer chemistry and single carbon material sectors, as well as in such biotech areas as animal cloning. It has also been competitive in nano science, mathematics, nuclear technology and missiles.

The report added that Pyongyang has in recent years built up its competitive knowhow in software, including the Linux computer operating system, as part of efforts to use science and engineering to bolster economic growth.

The communist country operates the Korean Computer Center and Pyongyang Information Center dedicated to improving the country's software infrastructure.

"Cooperation can take place in relatively new fields such as nanotech, biology and chemistry where North Korea has traditionally been strong," the report said.

The latest findings, however, said that because there are differences in the quality of research conducted by engineers and scientists from the two countries, cooperation should take place in stages.

In the report, the think tank recommended that South Korea first provide assistance to upgrade North Korea's laboratory equipment and help train experts. After making inroads into these areas, Seoul can move to carry out full-fledged joint research and open laboratories where scientists from both countries can work together, the report said.

yonngong@yna.co.kr
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