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Gazprom Exec Says Korean Peninsula Pipeline Could Be Built By 2017

Aleksei Miler, the head of Russian natural gas giant Gazprom, says a proposed natural gas pipeline to bring Russian gas to South Korea via North Korea could be built and operational by 2017.

Miller was speaking after Russian President Dmitri Medvedev met with visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak.

Gazprom and top Russian officials have been pushing the construction of a 1,100-kilometer pipeline to connect Russia and South Korea rather than use the more expensive option of bringing LNG from Sakhalin Island to South Korea.

Russian officials say North Korea, which stands to make hundreds of millions of dollars in transit fees annually, is supportive of the idea.

compiled from local and international agency reports