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    South Korea to Contribute to Arctic Research - Ambassador

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    South Korea is willing to contribute to solving Arctic-related issues by conducting small research projects, Korea’s Ambassador for Arctic Affairs Chan-Woo Kim told Sputnik.

    ANCHORAGE (Sputnik) — Ambassador Kim spoke following an international Arctic conference in Alaska, where some 20 countries and hundreds of policy makers, scientists and diplomats discussed the most urgent issues facing the Arctic.

    The issues include climate change, adaptation planning as well as strengthening coordination in Arctic affairs, among others.

    "At the moment, because Korea is a non-Arctic country, we have not brought any big initiatives," Kim said.

    However, Kim explained that as non-Arctic country, Korea would like to promote close collaboration between Arctic and non-Arctic countries.

    "[W]e would like to conduct some small projects," he noted.

    Kim emphasized that South Korea is already involved in the marine mapping project related to indigenous people. The project is conducted by the Aleut International Association together with the Korea Maritime Institute.

    "Indigenous people are affected by climate change. Their way of living has been affected by climate change," Kim stated, noting that Korean researchers will go on-site to seek the best solutions to address the situation indigenous people find themselves in.

    Moreover, Kim added, South Korea is already operating the Dasan scientific station in Svalbard, Norway, and the Korean research icebreaker Araon.

    "Those two very symbolic foundations we will contribute to fill and narrow the gap in science in the Arctic," Chan-Woo asserted. "So with these kinds of small projects, step by step, Korea wants to contribute to the Arctic issues."

    All Arctic countries have gained a renewed interest in the region as ice shelves have continued to recede over the past four decades, opening opportunities for natural resource exploitation, but also causing significant environmental concerns.


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    South Korea, climate change, indigenous peoples, Alaska, Arctic
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