Seoul to begin Kaesong road repair

According to Yonhap:

South Korea will next week start repairing a road used by North Korean commuters to reach an inter-Korean industrial complex in the North, an official said Thursday amid signs of a thaw in bilateral relations.

The 4.5-kilometer road linking North Korea’s border city of Kaesong to the nearby industrial park is used by more than 47,000 North Korean workers who are employed by some 120 South Korean firms operating in the zone. South Korean officials earlier said the road was damaged in summer’s torrential rains, prompting the South to conduct an on-site survey.

“After signing an agreement (with the North), we expect to start repair work next week,” said an official at the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations in the South.

“It will likely take about three months to complete the work, unless the weather becomes too cold, and cost us around 1.8 billion won (US$1.59 million),” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The repairs will involve restoring damaged paved sections and filling in holes on unpaved sections. Repairing the road is expected to save time for North Korean commuters and reduce traffic accidents.

The Daily NK offers some additonal information:

A government official explained today that the decision was made pursuant to agreement between the Kaesong Industrial Complex Management Committee, LH Construction and the North Korean authorities.

“The agreement has not yet been signed, but we are hoping to start the construction at the beginning of next week,” the official explained.

“Our side has taken on responsibility for planning the road repairs and supervising the construction,” he went on. “The weather could change things, but the construction should require three months and is expected to cost 1.8 billion South Korean won.”

Aside from the aforementioned construction, there are also plans to reconstruct two turning points for buses serving the complex. The human resources for the construction will be provided by North Korea.

There are plans to extend bus service to cover the areas of Pongchon (봉천), Kumchon (금천), and Phyongsan (평산). However, the roads to these areas are unpaved and extension of transportation services to these areas will require negotiations with the North Korean authorities.

Read the full story here:
Seoul to start repairing road leading to Kaesong complex next week
Yonhap
2011-11-3

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