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South Korea activates plan to secure energy sites

Following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and the subsequent uncertainty over what would happen in the country, South Korea has activity an emergency plan to secure its energy installations, ranging from power plants and refineries to storage capacity.

The country is entirely reliant on imports for meeting energy requirements of some of the world’s largest companies, including Hyundai Motor Co and Samsung Electronics.

“We, since Kim Jong-il’s death, have been holding a daily internal meeting reviewing risk management,” a spokesman at state-run Korea Gas Corp, the world’s largest corporate LNG buyer.

It currently holds 120mbl of oil in reserve, or 82% of capacity, said a spokesman at state-run Korea National Oil Corp. The country is the fifth-largest crude importer and the second-largest LNG buyer in the world. It presently holds 3.42Mt of LNG in storage – 92% of capacity and deemed sufficient to cover demand until the end of February.

Security concerns over North Korea, which in 2010 shelled civilians on a South Korean island and is accused of sinking one of the south’s warships earlier that year, were heightened after Seoul said the North had test fired a short range missile shortly before the announcement of Kim’s death, according to a Reuters report.

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