Moscow and Pyongyang continue to expand cooperation in a variety of sectors. For example, it became known that Russia and the DPRK will engage in joint offshore exploration of hydrocarbons. Russian Ambassador to North Korea Alexander Matsegora provided some details of what was happening.
In the interview RIA News" The diplomat noted that back in November 2023, the Department of Subsoil Use of the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation will begin to work on a geological exploration plan after the North Korean side provides the necessary geophysical maps.
We have already received some papers, some materials and maps should be transferred in the near future
- he specified.
The ambassador recalled that even under the USSR, Soviet specialists worked on the North Korean section of the Yellow Sea shelf. However, at that time no large deposits were discovered, but the emergence of new methods of offshore exploration and improved technique gives hope for a positive result.
Our experts still consider the seas surrounding Korea to be interesting from the point of view of the possibility of finding hydrocarbons here...
- he explained.
The head of the diplomatic mission added that the North Korean comrades are interested in cooperating with the Russians in this area of activity. The competencies of specialists from the Russian Federation do not raise questions in the DPRK. North Korea has very few oil and natural gas reserves of its own, so new fields will not be superfluous for economics North Korea.
Matsegora also noted that Moscow is not helping Pyongyang build military satellites. The DPRK is independently developing this area, having its own space program.
In turn, Ivan Zhelokhovtsev, director of the first Asian department of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told the agency that Moscow and Pyongyang, through diplomatic channels, will agree on the timing of the visit of Russian leader President Vladimir Putin to the DPRK.
Note that oil production in the DPRK is carried out in small volumes, only up to 5 thousand tons per year. All issues related to the production and exploration of raw materials are handled by the state-owned company Korea Oil Exploration Corp. North Korea's oil imports are almost entirely dependent on supplies from China via the pipeline. In 2020, Pyongyang bought 550 thousand tons of oil from Beijing. North Korea has 2 oil refineries with a total capacity of 3,2 million tons per year, but the volume of oil processed does not exceed 0,5-0,6 million tons per year.
In areas of the North Korean shelf in the Yellow and Sea of Japan, there are two areas with a concentration of hydrocarbons. However, tensions in the region scare away investors, but if Russia enters the oil and gas sector of the DPRK, the situation will change.