[Letter to the editor]The great race for resources
Silent wars for access to natural resources are happening throughout the globe. The United States, other major world powers and China, are fighting over oil and natural gas. It is well-known that the motivation for the war in Iraq is to secure oil rather than political interest. China is providing enormous amounts of financial aid for roads, hospitals and other infrastructure to African countries such as the Congo because of the continent’s rich natural resources and gas fields.
All of these show how much countries are interested in securing natural resources.
The agenda of summit meetings including the recent inter-Korean summit all include topics on resources. It wasn’t in the text of the summit declaration, but experts claim that South Korea’s lack of resources can be supplemented with those from North Korea. There is no reason for the North to reject the idea, since it wants to establish an independent economy based on its resources. Joint development of resources can be one of the most visible outcomes of inter-Korean economic cooperation.
Now is the time for South Korea to step into the race ― not just the government, but also industries, academia and other sectors. Korea doesn’t really have natural resources and considering its rate of consumption its only recourse is an aggressive approach to find and develop new resources. From this Korea can secure a foundation upon which to base development of alternative energy and also ensure the country’s growth.
The recent policy to lower taxes on Korean overseas resource developers is welcome. But this is just the beginning. All government organizations and private companies must engage in finding and developing new resources as a survival strategy.
Lee Kap-woo, chairman, Rehoboth Group