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Seoul says undersea tunnels with Japan, China economically infeasible

All Headlines 22:59 January 04, 2011

SEOUL, Jan. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's government has concluded that undersea tunnels envisioned to link the country with Japan and China are not economically feasible, officials said Tuesday.

Seoul's Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs, citing a study by the state-run Korea Transport Institute (KTI), said submarine tunnels proposed between South Korea and Japan and between South Korea and China have been ruled economically infeasible.

KTI has conducted a feasibility study into a project to link China's Weihai with four locations on the Korean Peninsula's western coast, including Incheon, as well as into a project to connect South Korea's Busan with Japan's Fukuoka via Tsushima Island.

Ministry officials said the benefit-cost ratio for the envisioned undersea tunnel projects turned out to be extremely low, due to their construction costs estimated to reach about 100 trillion won (US$90 billion).

"The government's think tank has conducted a feasibility study (on the undersea tunnel projects) at the request of provincial governments. But they have been ruled economically infeasible," said a ministry official.


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