August 9, 2008

South Korea, Kazakhstan Agree to Push for New Oil, Gas Projects

Text of report in English by South Korean news agency Yonhap

SEOUL, Aug. 9 (Yonhap) - President Lee Myung-bak [Ri Myo'ng-pak] and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev met in Beijing Saturday and agreed to jointly explore oil, gas and mineral resources in the central Asian country, Lee's aides in Seoul said.

The two leaders were in the Chinese capital for the Olympics which opened on Friday night.

In a meeting with Nazarbaev, Lee asked for his support for South Korean firms wanting to participate in a US$4.5 billion thermal power plant project and the construction of a mid-sized atomic reactor in Kazakhstan, said the aides.

In response, Nazarbaev expressed satisfaction at the rapidly expanding bilateral relations in politics, economy, culture and other fields and voiced a wish to further boost ties with South Korea in the fields of petrochemicals and information technology, in particular, they said.

The two leaders reviewed a strategic partnership agreement signed during South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo [Han Su'ng-su]'s visit to Kazakhstan in May and agreed to visit each other's country in the near future, the aides said.

Kazakhstan accounts for 97 per cent of Central Asia's entire oil reserves and ranks second and 11th globally in terms of natural gas and uranium reserves, respectively.

Originally published by Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 0503 9 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.