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Canadian and Korean Arctic Interests

May 30, 2009

Vlad Kaczinski (center) with Jung-Keuk Kang (left), President, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, Seoul, and Timothy C. Mack, President, World Future Society, Bethesda, Maryland. All attended the symposium on “Blue Economy Initiative for Green Growth” held May 7 in Seoul.

Vladimir M. Kaczynski, School of Marine Affairs, is an affiliated faculty of the Center. Each fall he teaches a Jackson School of International Studies course, Comparative Marine Business in the North Pacific (SISRE/SMA 555).

On May 7 in Seoul, the Korean Maritime and the Korean Ocean Research and Development Institutes organized an international symposium entitled “Blue Economy Initiative for Green Growth.” I presented two papers at this conference, “Present and Future of the Arctic Energy Resources Use,” and “The Arctic Era: Impact of Major Changes on Management and International Relations.”

The symposium promoted debate on Arctic affairs and contributed to the formulation of Korean policy toward the Arctic Ocean. As a non-coastal state, Korea is part of the international debate on the future of the Arctic as well as in the sustainable use of its resources.
Korea is interested in using the Northwest Passage to ship its goods to Europe. Korea also has great interest in oil and gas resources, and with its experience using technology in the icy conditions of the Sakhalin oil fields, will be a valuable partner in any joint ventures with coastal states like Canada, the US, or Russia. Canada would be an ideal partner with Korea in commercial arrangements in the Arctic.

An important part of the ensuing discussions were devoted to possible Korean economic cooperation with coastal Arctic states, including Canada as a potential partner.

Korea is calling for a peaceful settlement of conflicts, in line with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 1982, and avoidance of unilateral actions by countries bordering the Arctic. Such a solution would allow Korean participation in shaping the future of Arctic resource use and management and would take advantage of Korea’s industrial and research capabilities.

Comparative Marine Business in the North Pacific (SISRE/SMA 555) is supported, in part, by funding from the Center’s Title VI grant, US Department of Education, Office of International Education and Graduate Program Services.