July 25, 2008

South Korea to Develop Gas Hydrate Near Liancourt Rocks, Minister Says

Text of report in English by South Korean newspaper Choson Ilbo website on 25 July

[Original headline: "Korea To Develop Gas Hydrate Near Dokdo"]

The government wants to develop gas hydrate near Dokdo [Liancourt Rocks] as a means to strengthen its dominion over the islets in the face of renewed Japanese territorial ambitions. Knowledge Economy Minister Lee Yoon-ho on Thursday told the National Assembly that development of gas hydrate near Dokdo [Liancourt Rocks] would help Korea protect its territorial rights and secure energy resources.

Gas hydrate, dubbed "burning ice," is created when natural gas meets water at low temperature and high pressure. It is touted as a new energy resource. Korea successfully extracted gas hydrate in the Ulleung Basin in the East Sea in June last year, and in November found a huge deposit of gas hydrate estimated to be 600 million tons. The Ministry calculates this would be enough to meet 30 years of demand in Korea.

Originally published by Choson Ilbo website, Seoul, in English 25 Jul 08.

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