N. Korea estimated to have US$2.79 trillion worth of mineral resources
Contracts to develop mines dominated by Chinese firms, South Koreans shut out
North Korea has mineral resources potentially worth some 3,200 trillion won (US$2.79 trillion), whose development is dominated by Chinese firms, while South Korea is shut out due to sanctions, Yonhap quotes a South Korean government agency as saying.
The Korea Resources Corp. (KORES), in a report submitted on Sunday to South Korean Rep. Eoh Kiy-ku, said the estimated value of North Korea’s untapped minerals as of the end of 2016 is 14 times more than the estimated 230 trillion won for South Korea.
The mountainous and mineral-rich North has reportedly signed 38 contracts with foreign companies to develop the mines ranging from gold and silver to coal, of which 33 are with Chinese firms, according to the agency. The others are divided among companies from Japan, which have two contracts, France, also two, and Switzerland, which has one.