NEA Countries’ Approaches to the TKR-TSR Project
Dealing with intermodal transport network development issues in NEA is crucial to establishing integrated relations in the region. The following section analyses the attitude of NEA countries to the TKR-TSR Linking Project.
Russia is most active in TKR-TSR connection and modernisation. The country is developing various Eurasian transportation routes and improving traffic systems using its own transportation system modernisation programmes. The goal is to activate the economy in Siberia and the Far East and to expand these regions’ political and economic influence on NEA states.
South Korea is confronting the necessity to actively devise plans for increasing participation, in order to strengthen economic cooperation with North Korea and NEA countries, and also to enhance logistics efficiency within the region. This is one of the core projects for South-North economic cooperation. Connecting the TKR to the Eurasian railway will contribute to saving distribution costs, increasing direct trade, improving international competitiveness, and promoting stability on the Korean Peninsula.
China’s perspective, according to its Northeast China promotion strategy, is to be active in establishing and modernising transportation routes and connections between its northeastern provinces and Russia’s Far East and the Korean Peninsula for economic development promotion in its three northeastern provinces. This route’s importance is growing as it is a gateway to the northeastern part of China where there is no maritime port. For trade with China’s three northeastern provinces, distribution costs can be reduced when either the ports of Russia’s Far East or on the Korean Peninsula are used.
North Korea is anticipating that modernisation of its ports, roads, and railways will increase transportation earnings and help to boost its economy. Additionally, modernisation will promote economic cooperation with China’s three northeastern provinces and the Russian Far East. in view of the strategic value of Russia’s Far East and the Korean
Peninsula’s development, it will bring huge political and economic benefits. Improving existing infrastructure by restoring the transport system and forming the logistics base through constructing logistics facilities should provide a new driving force for North Korea.
Japan has also shown interest in intermodal transport development and operation in order to expand its trade with NEA states. This reflects Japan’s awareness regarding the region as a gateway to the Far East, the Korean Peninsula, and integrating its northeast provinces with the former areas, and sets the stage for broadening its trade with Russia, Mongolia, and Europe. It is anticipating economic activation in areas adjacent to the East Sea, such as Niigata, Tottori, and Kanajiwa.
For Mongolia, which has limitations as a land-locked country but is rich in mineral resources, an intermodal transportation network has a special significance in reducing its isolation in the world, but also within its own borders, and will spur economic development. Therefore, for the development of intermodal transport networks, cooperation between not only the NEA but also other neighbouring countries is necessary.