January 07, 2015 12:48
The government want to push for a railway line from Wonsan in North Korea to Cheorwon and Seoul in the South to be reconnected.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport says it also wants to connect the railway, known as the Gyeongwon Line, with the eastern Donghae Line leading to North Korea's scenic Mt. Kumgang.
A presidential committee recently said that reconnecting the Gyeongwon Line would be a crucial part of a proposal to create a major metropolitan region after reunification.
The scheme is so far hypothetical. Three railway lines connect North and South Korea -- the Gyeongeui, Gyeongwon and Donghae lines – but they were severed during the 1950-53 Korean War.
The Gyeongeui and Donghae lines were already reconnected at one stage as part of rapprochement efforts between the two Koreas, but saw little more than a single train making a brief symbolic journey. But the Gyeongwon Line remains severed.
To reconnect it, South Korea needs to extend its side of the rail by 8.6 km up to the demilitarized zone and then 2 km inside the DMZ, which requires persuading North Korea.
The ultimate aim is to create a railway line linking Seoul to Russia, but it remains to be seen whether North Korea would ever agree to the scheme.
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