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N. Korea aims to develop resource-rich Tanchon

All Headlines 13:54 April 25, 2013

SEOUL, April 25 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is scurrying to develop the resources-rich city of Tanchon on the east coast as part of the country's efforts to make it a source of foreign currency income, recent news reports from the North showed.

Tanchon will become a key transit point in shipping goods to and from Russia's Siberia, the northeastern part of China and Mongolia, said the Wednesday issue of the Choson Sinbo, a Korean language newspaper published by North Korean nationals in Japan.

The newspaper, a mouthpiece of North Korea, said the port city of Tanchon should become the source of finance for the country's broader policy line of pursuing both economic development and nuclear capacities.

In a bid to boost exports, the country completed the construction of a port in May last year in the city with rich reserves of magnesite, zinc and other mineral resources, which sits about in the middle of the country's east coast line. the Choson Sinbo said the city has about 5.4 billion tons of magnesite deposit, possibly the third biggest reserve in the world.

The news outlet also highlighted the country's planned ways to increase earnings in the resources-rich city from which the country used to export mineral resources to China for meager profits.

"North Korea will move to manufacture processed magnesite goods in order to make high-value added goods," the Choson Sinbo noted. "To that end, many plants will be built in the Tanchon region and the areas will become a new industrial zone."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has also underlined the country's plan to boost profits from the Tanchon development, saying in a national meeting of light industrial workers last month that profits from Tanchon development should be exclusively used to prop up the livelihood of North Korean people.

"North Korea seems to express its intention to secure foreign investment by highlighting the rich resource reserves in Tanchon and its ambition to develop the city as one of the key international ports in the Northeast Asian region," said Cho Bong-hyun, an analyst at the IBK Economic Research Institute.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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