Alaska in Brief

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy planning trip to East Asia, letters show

By: - May 11, 2022 2:00 am
framed photos of Alaska governors hanging in a hallway

A photo of Gov. Mike Dunleavy hangs alongside the portraits of former Alaska governors in the Alaska State Capitol’s Hall of Governors on Tuesday, May 10, 2022. (Photo by James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy is planning a trip to East Asia, accompanied by the president of the state-owned corporation backing a trans-Alaska natural gas pipeline, according to letters released in a public records request. The two men are seeking support for the pipeline project, known as Alaska LNG.

“All conditions permitting, I plan to travel to Seoul in early June with Mr. Frank Richards, the president of the Alaska Gasline Development Corporation,” the governor said in a March 22 letter to Christopher Del Corso, the interim American ambassador to South Korea.

In a separate letter sent the same date, Dunleavy wrote to the Japanese ambassador to the United States, saying that he plans to travel to Tokyo in early June.

The governor’s deputy press secretary declined to confirm the planning or the details of the governor’s itinerary. An official with AGDC also declined comment and said announcements will have to come from the governor’s office.

The letters were released in late April as part of a routine request for the governor’s correspondence.

Those letters indicate the Alaska delegation plans to meet with the Korea Gas Corporation, “other business entities” and South Korea’s ministry of trade, industry and energy.

“In addition to meetings, we’re hoping our time in Korea can also include a visit to the DMZ,” Dunleavy wrote to Del Corso.

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Alaska and the state-owned gasline corporation have repeatedly attempted to garner financial and political support from authorities in Korea and Japan for a gas pipeline from the North Slope.

Both countries are seen as the primary market for Alaska gas, and in the first months of this year, AGDC has promoted a new, cheaper cost analysis and the Russian invasion of Ukraine as reasons to prefer Alaska as a source for natural gas.


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James Brooks
James Brooks

James Brooks is a longtime Alaska reporter, having previously worked at the Anchorage Daily News, Juneau Empire, Kodiak Mirror and Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. A graduate of Virginia Tech, he is married to Caitlyn Ellis, owns a house in Juneau and has a small sled dog named Barley. He can be contacted at [email protected].