Russia, North sign deal for a joint railway

Joong Ang Daily

Russia has its own dreams of a cross-border railway, linking its tracks to North Korea.

The former communist country has signed a non-binding deal with the communist country to rebuild a section of railway from the Russian border station of Khasan to the North Korean port of Najin, a Russian radio station reported yesterday.

Representatives of the Russian Railways and the North’s Ministry of Railways signed the memorandum last April at the end of the four-day talks held in Pyongyang, the Voice of Russia said.

A container terminal in Najin is the end goal of the new joint venture. After the repairs and reconstruction are completed, the two sides plan to ship freight from Northeast Asia to Russia and Europe, it said.

To solve technical and financial issues connected with this project, working groups will be set up. The first meeting is scheduled in Pyongyang next month.

After resolving practical issues, the two sides plan to organize a meeting of the leaders of the two countries’ railways to sign an agreement.

The restoration of the railway from Khasan to Najin will make it possible in the future to link the Trans Korean Railway to the Trans Siberian Railway, according to Russian media reports.

On May 17, two trains crossed the Military Demarcation Line dividing the two Koreas for the first time since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. South Korea hopes the historic test runs will lead to the connection by railway of the Korean Peninsula, China and Europe.


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