Empire Of The Ring Chapter 560
Youngho was sleeping in from the aftermath of the previous day’s drinking when Leon came into the bedroom and woke him up. After filling his stomach with the spicy chopped noodle soup that Fatima made him, he headed to his office even though it was Saturday.
It was customary for every leader of the royal territory to get together for supper and a drink on Friday nights, but these days, they had not been able to gather as they got too busy since the Kurdish migration began.
That was because some 10,000 new migrants were coming in every week, and those who had settled in were already over 40,000 people. So the administrators and leaders were always on edge.
Even last night did not last long because Kim Chun gave them an earful when they were about to loosen up and drink some more. His reason was that Park Jong-il was returning the day after, and they would drink again anyway.
Suh Min-seok, who was waiting for Youngho at the office, greeted him.
“Your Highness, did you sleep well? The number of Kurdish immigrants arriving today is 12,247.”
“Why are there so many today?”
“The Turkish government supported five car ferries. It seems that there are so many refugees at the harbor that the Turkish government was forced to help.”
“They were being stingy, but I guess they couldn’t help.”
As the weather got warmer, the number of people crossing the border suddenly increased, and the Turkish government was struggling with it since it was difficult to control the influx of Kurds. So the Turkish government officials showed up in person to hand out the stamps. Then, refugee camps were now suffering from overcapacity. Due to too many people in the camps, hygiene issues were marred. It would be a disaster if contagious diseases were to occur, so the Turkish government was forced to send the Kurds to Kazakhstan as quickly as possible.
“The Turkish government is going to come up with a bill in the near future.”
“The decision was made unilaterally without consulting with us. We won’t have to pay for it.”
“We’re trying to please the Turkish government for the sake of the remaining Kurds. How would the Turkish government deal with the Kurds if we ignored it?”
“Would it persecute the Kurds when the whole world is watching?”
“Conflicts between nations are dominated by emotion. Nationalism makes you lose sight when you’re obsessed with madness.”
It would have been nice if the Turkish government opened its land route to Georgia, but it was only allowing maritime transportation because it feared it would provoke Kurds living in southeastern Turkey. It was an inevitable choice for Turkey.
Kurds living in Turkey were on the verge of an explosion to think that their own countrymen were being forced out of Syria by their own people. A little bit of stimulation could make them go out of control, so Youngho could not make a strong demand to open the land route to Turkey.
“Please contact the Embassy of Turkey and notify them that we will pay for the use of the ship and toll fees through the Volga Canal. Also, ask them if they can mobilize more car ferries.”
“Isn’t it necessary to go through the Department of Foreign Affairs?”
“The Turkish government won’t feel burdened if the royal family deals with it. If the government intervenes, it can’t claim money because of the face of the brotherhood.”
“Very well, Your Highness.”
“But let the Foreign Office know that you spoke to the Turkish Embassy. The Foreign Ministry should know what the royal family is up to. By the way, did you say Dr. Park Young-sun is returning today?”
“The plane must have arrived at the royal territory’s airspace by now.”
“As soon as he lands, bring him here.”
Park Young-sun had been away to Uzbekistan to investigate the Uzbek gold mine. Upon arrival at the airport, Park Young-sun was dragged by Suh Min-seok.
“It’s great to see you. I was going to see you in the evening, but I got impatient, so I asked to bring you here as soon as possible.”
“I knew you’d be waiting for me. So to begin with, it turns out there’s about 1,200 to 1,500 tons of gold buried there.”
It was an eye-opening remark.
“How much do you think it’s going to produce per year?”
“It’s widely distributed, so it’s expected to be 40 to 50 tons a year. It’s a tremendous amount for a single mine.”
“That is quite exciting to hear, but to be honest, that’s less than what I expected.”
“Your Highness, there is more. It’s too early to be disappointed. It’s not just an open pit, but gold is scattered in rocks as well, so if you dig a shaft, we’ll have a bigger production rate.”
“Do you mean there’s a separate vein of gold?”
“Yes, because it’s a rock band, mining is difficult, but we can have hope. Even if we don’t find the vein, the area we’ve studied so far will be a strong force for our royal family since it’s a world-class mining area.”
Youngho’s face was brightened to hear that the Uzbek mine would be the strength of the Kazakh royal family.
It was great news that Kazakhstan would be able to get fixed gold for decades at this time when even advanced countries were rushing to store as much gold as possible.
The gold production should be divided with the Uzbek government at the ratio of three to seven, but the additional vein of gold found in Uzbekistan was enough for the Uzbek government’s portion, so it could be said that 40 tons a year belonged to the royal family.
In dollar terms, it was equivalent to 2.1 billion dollars, which was an amount that could buy a new fleet of state-of-the-art fighters every year.
“There’s not only gold but also silver deposited in the area. These days, everyone says gold is the best, but the utility of silver is very high, so you can look forward to it.”
“There is silver, too?”
“Yes, there is. Silver is a precious metal in itself, and it’s very useful for industrial use, so it’s a valuable asset.”
Silver was used for making coinage of course, and because it was a high-conductivity metal, it was used for various purposes. Its value was relatively low compared to gold, but it was still a valuable metal.
“We didn’t sign any memorandum of understanding for mining silver. We should consult with the Uzbek government specifically about this.”
“Do you intend to disclose the fact about the silver to the Uzbek government?”
“I have to make it public. I wish I can keep it a secret and take all the silver for free, but it will come to light someday. What would the Uzbek government think of us if they found out that there was a large amount of silver deposits there? No matter how important our national interest is, I have no intention of doing anything cheap.”
“You’re right. I was also convinced that doing so would be beneficial to both countries’ trust.”
Youngho wanted to be greedy at his heart, but he did not want to do such a shameless thing, not because he was afraid of being caught and humiliated later, but to avoid damaging the national prestige of the head country of Central Asia. That way, Kazakhstan would be able to earn the trusts of other countries in Central Asia as well.
“So I blindly asked if we could get the license to produce the Blackhawk helicopters. Then he said that if we can pay the money to build an assembly plant, he will consider doing that for us.”
“I don’t know why that lie sounds true. Is what you just said real?”
“Jeez, are you kidding? Do you think I’m talking nonsense after I came back from the United States?”
“You always exaggerate things, you know.”
Cho Chul-hwan and Cha In-soo could not believe what Jong-il just said.
The Apache helicopters were a great addition to Kazakhstan’s force, but if the Blackhawk helicopters, which could make a full-fledged combat team on the front line, were brought in, it would be like having wings.
The Blackhawk helicopters were being pushed out by new ones these days, but they still boasted of great stability and power that many nations still prefer to buy them.
The Blackhawk was used for aerial assaults, evacuation of wounded soldiers, and delivery of goods. Its new models were equipped with electronic systems and were continuously being produced now.
As a proof that the model was still popular even though it had been 30 years since it was first introduced, the Taiwanese government recently purchased 60 Blackhawk helicopters.
“I can’t believe the U.S. government took the lead in selling us Blackhawks just because we bought some Apache helicopters, but you can make the deal, I’ll carry you around.”
“Oh, you don’t believe me either.”
“No, I’m not saying I don’t trust you, but I just don’t understand why Lockheed is acting like this.”
“Come on, there’s plenty of reason why Lockheed must be interested in Central Asia. It’s a huge land to begin with and not to mention the long borders. They think Blackhawks are the only vehicle that can be used for an effective operation with only a few soldiers. Lockheed must be trying to sell a ton of it by producing it locally. Well, they’ll be in charge of sales, so why don’t we learn their technology with this opportunity?”
“Well, that’s good news, but…”
“Lockheed officials said they’d come to Kazakhstan in a few days, so you’ll see for sure by then.”
“What did Michael say?”
“He bragged that he was the one who convinced Lockheed to sell Blackhawks to us.”
“Hey! Could it be possible that the Blackhawk is getting discontinued?”
Park Jong-il snapped at Cho Chul-hwan’s remark.
“You b*st*rds really push me to the end. You can see how popular it is if you search the Internet. Does it hurt your stomach that I achieved something great?”
“Oh, what do you have that we should be jealous of?”
“Aren’t you just being jealous because I’m going to be a duke soon?”
“Hahaha… You wish!”
If Kazakhstan could license such a popular helicopter, not only Kazakhstan’s military power but also the whole of Central Asia’s military power would be increased. It still remained to see whether Lockheed would really give the license to produce Blackhawk to Kazakhstan, but Jong-il was confident about his achievement. He made a big fuss about this saying that he was one step closer to becoming a duke.