러시아의 북극개발전략과 한·러 협력의 새로운 가능성 (Russian Arctic Development Strategy and New Possibility for Korea-Russia Cooperation)

140 Pages Posted: 30 May 2014

See all articles by Sung Hoon Jeh

Sung Hoon Jeh

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Jiyoung Min

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Date Written: December 30, 2013

Abstract

Korean Abstract: 지구온난화에 따른 기후변화로 이제 3개의 대륙에 걸쳐 있고 2개의 대양과 맞닿아 있는 북극은 더 이상 혹독한 날씨와 두꺼운 얼음이 지배하는 공간이 아니다. 기후변화로 인한 부정적 결과에도 불구하고, 에너지 자원의 대안적인 공급처이자 새로운 해상 교역로로 부상한 북극의 개발과 이용에 북극해 연안국뿐만 아니라 비연안국들의 관심도 집중되고 있다. 그리고 이러한 지정ㆍ지경학적 변화에 능동적으로 대처하는 국가만이 지속적인 경제성장을 위한 새로운 동력을 확보하는 기회를 얻게 될 것이다. 따라서 2013년 5월 한국이 북극이사회 상시 옵서버 자격 획득을 통해 북극 문제 논의에 참여할 기회를 얻게 되고, 2013년 7월 해양수산부가 관계부처 합동으로 ‘북극 종합정책 추진계획’을 발표한 것은 고무적인 일이라 할 수 있다. 이제 한국도 기후변화의 영향에 지속해서 관심을 기울이는 것은 물론, 북극의 잠재력을 재인식하고, 투자 기회를 포착하며, 극지에 적합한 기술 개발에도 적극 나서야 할 것이다.

북극해 비연안국인 한국이 북극의 개발과 이용에 참여하기란 결코 쉽지 않다. 경계획정 문제에서 잘 드러나듯이, 기본적으로 북극해 연안국들의 이해관계가 복잡하고, 이것이 첨예한 대립으로 발전할 가능성도 있기 때문이다. 이러한 상황에서 북극지역 국가들과의 관계 증진은 물론, 상호이익을 확보하면서도 평화로운 협력을 수행할 수 있는 과제를 발굴하고 그것을 착실하게 수행하는 것은 국가적 차원에서 중요한 임무가 될 것이다.

English Abstract: The Arctic is changing due to global warming. While this poses potential environmental risks, the region is also emerging as a new shipping route and an alternative source of energy supply. Recognizing the enormous potential of the region, both Arctic and non-Arctic countries are devoting increased attention to the use and development of the area. Korea, a non-littoral nation, also is moving quickly to involve itself in Arctic issues. Namely, it received permanent observer status at the Arctic Council in May 2013 and adopted the “Comprehensive Arctic Plan” in July.

In fact, participation in activities in the Arctic is an arduous task for a non-Arctic country under the current Arctic governance regime. However, Korea, an energy-and-trade-dependent economy, is seeing new opportunities, because the opening of the Arctic provides an irresistible attraction. In order to actively participate in the Arctic, Korea needs to take part in tackling relevant global issues, such as environmental protection and preservation, development of technology applicable to the Arctic, etc. as a member of the global community. Building and maintaining close relationships with relevant countries should be sought as well.

In this context, cooperation with Russia, in particular regarding the Arctic, has significant meaning to Korea for the following reasons. First, the majority of hydrocarbon resources in the region lay in the Russian Arctic region. Since Russia is developing fields for exploitation of energy resources through international cooperation, Korea needs to consider ways to participate in such projects. Second, when using the Northern Sea Route, it is inevitable that shipping pass through waters under the authority of the Russian Federation and employ Russian facilities, such as ports and ice-breakers. In addition, the Russian government’s plans to establish infrastructure for the development of the region including an integrated transport system and ICT network may provide chances to Korean investors. Third, Russia is an influential participant in Arctic governance such as the Arctic Council, BEAC, etc. Thus, closer cooperation with Russia can make Korea‘s participation in Arctic governance much easier.

In this report, the following measures are suggested in order to strengthen cooperation with Russia. First, apart from the “Comprehensive Arctic Plan,” an “Extensive Cooperation Strategy toward Russia” should be devised. The document needs to encompass all possible forms of collaboration and opinions of experts regarding Arctic issues. Second, establishment of an “Arctic Cooperation Committee” under the Korea-Russia Joint Commission on Economic, Scientific and Technological Cooperation and “Korea-Russia Joint Arctic Research Center” will be helpful in developing constructive bilateral cooperation. All Arctic-related topics between the two nations can be discussed within the Committee and the Center will take a role as a think-tank on Arctic issues. Third, creation of Asia-Pacific-Arctic Council modeled on the Barents Euro-Arctic Council jointly with Russia will help intensify regional cooperation. Through this system, Korea may have more chances to engage in the Arctic issues earnestly as an active member. Fourth, the opening of the Arctic provides investment opportunities for Korean companies. Participating in consortium or joint investment projects, and technological cooperation with Russian organizations can be viable ways to become involved in the Arctic. Since Russia’s dilapidated ports require new construction or maintenance, investing in relevant projects could also be considered. Fifth, various civil and academic exchange programs will contribute to nurturing Arctic specialists, extending cooperation with indigenous peoples, and raising Korea’s image as a trustworthy partner in the Arctic for the long term.

Note: Downloadable document is in Korean.

Keywords: Arctic Development, Arctic economics, Comprehensive Arctic Plan, Korea, Economic cooperation, Russia

Suggested Citation

Jeh, Sung Hoon and Min, Jiyoung, 러시아의 북극개발전략과 한·러 협력의 새로운 가능성 (Russian Arctic Development Strategy and New Possibility for Korea-Russia Cooperation) (December 30, 2013). KIEP Research Paper No. Policy References 13-20. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2443178 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2443178

Sung Hoon Jeh (Contact Author)

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Jiyoung Min

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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