High Cost and Low Odds

With the South Korean delegation home from the October 2-4 inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang, Seoul is debating what it would take to overhaul the North’s rusty infrastructure. Under the joint declaration — which is not exactly an agreement — signed by South Korean President Roh Moo Hyun and North Korean supremo Kim Jong Il, Seoul has promised to upgrade key components of the infrastructure including railways, highways and ports in addition to building a new industrial complex, and even a shipyard. These projects are meant to revitalize the North Korea’s moribund economy, now staggering under the impact of recent summer floods, themselves made worse by the lack of proper water diversion infrastructure.

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