Deal makes train run more likely

Joong Ang daily
5/7/2007

South Korea agreed late Friday to send North Korea raw materials that it can use in its light industries, but scheduled it to happen June 27 ― after next week’s scheduled test-run of an inter-Korean railroad, the Unification Ministry said.

The South could halt the shipment if the North cancels the test, as it has done several times in the past.

“At the economic talks for the light industry projects and the railroad projects, North Korean officials repeatedly said the train tests will occur this year,” a South Korean official who refused to be named said yesterday. “I am not sure if they had reached a consensus with the military or not, but their statements were very decisive.”

The two Koreas will hold general-level military talks from Tuesday to Thursday to guarantee the safety of passengers and trains that will travel across the demilitarized zone.

On Friday, South Korea agreed to begin the shipment of raw materials, worth $80 million, on June 27.

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