Detailed outlines of North and South Korea’s energy cooperation are drawing attention as they are presented one by one. Some anticipate that an all-round cooperation system will be set up between the North and South. Energy has been regarded as a field where cooperation can be fairly quickly established after the 2018 inter-Korean summit on April 27th. It has been verified that President Moon Jae-in handed over a book and a USB to Kim Jong-un, the chairman of the SAC (the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), at the summit last month. This contained explanatory data about president Moon’s conception of a new economic community on the Korean Peninsula. According to Cheong Wa Dae, this data includes information on power plants.
Experts are also presenting comprehensive scenarios of North and South Korean energy cooperation. Professor Seung Ill Moon of SNU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a civilian member of the eighth Presidential Committee on This was not on the summit agenda, but if political issues are resolved, electricity will be the foremost field in which the North and South will wish to cooperate. Stable power supply is essential for North Korea's economic revival and economic collaboration with the South.”
He continued to explain, “The railway and road network is not a huge technical issue, but because the technical characteristics of the North and South differ significantly, thorough preparations are necessary.” According to his diagnosis, “Electricity will be what North Korea desires most. To the extent of our knowledge, the electric power crisis in North Korea is much worse than what the public imagine.”
Professor Moon suggested three steps for power grid link methods between South and North Korea. He said, "The first thing we can do is to supply small-scale renewable energy (solar energy) combined with ESS (Energy Storage System) as humanitarian aid," “If the North and South come to an agreement, this can even be installed within this year,” he predicted.
The second step is to select a specific region in North Korea and to aid its own electricity production. "As electricity is a strategic material, it would be advisable to choose the Wonsan area as a pilot city. This area is situated near the coast where there is less military tension." He explained, "Building regional power grids rather than one large scale power grid will reduce the likelihood of military exploitation.
The third stage is the ‘Northeast Asian Super The North and South must be interlinked during the formation of the super grid in order to be industrially stabilized and to gain political and economic benefits.''
“As it will take decades for North Korea to complete its power grid, it will be technically difficult and meaningless to connect the Korean Peninsula only.” He analyzed, “Only if surrounding countries are all connected will it be able to mutually guarantee that one country cannot unilaterally disconnect its power supply." He said, "If only the North and South are connected, this could again spark a dispute." He added, "True peace in North East Asia begins by sharing a power grid."
Written by Jee Hyun Lee, English Editor of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org