02/15/2010, 00.00
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Beijing, billions of dollars to Pyongyang to end the nuclear issue

North Korea has reached an agreement with Chinese banks and multinational companies for an investment plan of 10 billion dollars. The signature by mid-March. The money will support the economy of a starving country and convince the North Korean leadership to abandon their nuclear ambitions.

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.  

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