December 04, 2018 13:08
A South Korean team will have to take a bus instead of a train on Saturday to survey a railroad section on the east coast of North Korea due to the deterioration of the tracks, the Unification Ministry said Monday.
"We were told by North Korean officials that the survey team will have to travel by bus in the section between Gamho Station near Mt. Kumgang and Anbyon Station because it's impossible for a train to run on it," a ministry official said.
The railway tracks have not been repaired since they were washed away by a typhoon and flood.
The two Koreas have been conducting a joint survey of the Kaesong-Sinuiju railway line since last Friday. From Saturday, they will inspect the 800 km-long section between Mt. Kumkang and Duman River stations on the east coast.
"Ninety-seven percent of the North's railway lines are known to be single-track and the power is cut off often, so it's not easy to operate trains," said a defector who used to be a senior railway official in the North. "That means it would take more time and money to reconnect railways than lay completely new tracks."
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