SEOUL, South Korea — China plans to invest billions of
dollars in North Korea in an apparent effort to prod the impoverished
country to rejoin international nuclear disarmament talks, a news
report said Monday.
The news came one week after North Korean
leader Kim Jong Il told a visiting high-level envoy from Beijing that
he was committed to a nuclear-free Korea. Kim subsequently dispatched
his top nuclear envoy to Beijing for talks on the resumption of
six-nation negotiations on ending its nuclear program in return for aid.
state-run Chinese banks and other multinational companies neared an
agreement to invest about $10 billion to build railroads, harbors and
houses in North Korea following their negotiations with Pyongyang's
official Korea Taepung International Investment Group, according to
Seoul's Yonhap news agency.