Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Beijing will invest billions of dollars in North Korea as an incentive to bring the communist leadership to the table of six-party nuclear negotiations. This was revealed by a source inside North Korea, the decision is linked to the meeting last week between Kim Jong-il and a high profile Chinese diplomat.
The day after the face to face with Wang Jiarui - Head of International Department of the Chinese Communist Party - and the "Dear Leader", took place the chief North Korean nuclear negotiator visited Beijing. Pyongyang claims that before the resumption of six-party talks - involving North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the United States -, international sanctions are removed and a peace agreement is signed with Seoul. It would replace the armistice that ended the Korean War of 1950/53.
Many Chinese state-owned banks and other multinational companies have entered into an investment plan in North Korea amounting to 10 billion dollars to build roads, ports and houses. Over 60% of the sum, reports the South Korean Yonhap News Agency, comes from the Bank of China and the agreement should be signed in mid-March.
Beijing is Pyongyang's biggest trading partner and a major supplier of food and basic necessities, critical to sustaining the economy of a starving nation. According to data from the U.S. State Department, in 2008 the gross domestic product (GDP) of North Korea was estimated at 26.2 billion dollars, a figure much lower than South Korea, whose GDP is about 1300 billion dollars.