Northeast Asia Peace Initiative

IAED-USA Discusses Prospects for a Korean Peninsula Mega-Region

United States—The concept of a Korean Peninsula Mega Region (KPMR) is a bold but realistic proposal.

Mr. Stephen Costello, Director of AsiaEast, a policy platform for analysis of Korea and the East Asian region, presented his review of this proposal that has been developed by the the Gyeonggi Research Institute in Uijeongbu, Korea.

As a project, the multi-year build-out of extensive plans for economic, political, and physical infrastructure can work as glue for any advance in North Korea’s relations with South Korea, the US, or international institutions. The government of Gyeonggi Province in South Korea, bordering North Korea along the Western half of the DMZ, has done extensive work to explore the concept over the past decade. They are working to show that when it is implemented the KPMR will support sustainable peace and development on the entire Peninsula and in the Northeast Asia region. Mr. Costello also pointed out that this zone would integrate well with the proposed International Highway Project and the Japan-Korea Tunnel that he presented on previously.

Dr. Purnima Voria, as the Founder and CEO of the National US India Chamber of Commerce (NUICC), an international organization that promotes bilateral trade between the United States and India, brought her expertise in organizing international business development to the table with some practical tips on what will need to be done in order to prepare the framework to implement such an ambitious proposal.

The questions and discussion at the end of the program highlighted the many hurdles that still need to be overcome in order to implement a region such as this. However, if we look at the rapid development of other economic zones in the world, we can see that the possibilities are not unrealistic. The growth of the Danube region after World War II, the Shenzen Economic Zone in China and the country of Dubai are just a few such examples of regions that have been transformed through changes in the political will to implement them.

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