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August 17, 2018updated 20 Aug 2018 9:46am

South Korea proposes rail route to North Korea by year-end

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has announced plans to develop railroad links to North Korea by the end of this year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has announced plans to develop railroad links to North Korea by the end of this year.

Speaking at the Liberation Day commemoration celebrations in Seoul, President Jae-in proposed creating a North-East Asian railroad community that would include the Korean peninsula, China, Mongolia, Russia, Japan and the US.

In this speech, President Jae-in said that the community will help to facilitate multilateral peace and security system in North-East Asia, reported media sources.

The announcement comes at a time when both the Korean countries have initiated a process of reconciliation following a meeting of the President Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in April.

“The South Korean Government intends to link the railroads and highways by the end of this year.”

Both leaders are again scheduled to meet in Pyongyang next month to advance peace talks and economic cooperation.

Since April, both the countries have exchanged views and conducted studies to connect the railway systems.

Once developed, the new railway connectivity will enable South Korea to support its exports to China, Russia and Europe through North Korea. It will also facilitate the import of Russian petroleum to South Korea.

The rail link is also expected to enhance the North Korean industry sector.

The South Korean Government intends to link the railroads and highways by the end of this year.

However, the date of commencement of services on the route is still unclear, primarily due to international sanctions on North Korea, reported The New York Times.

President Jae-in added that cross-border economic cooperation between North and South Korea can cross value of more than $149bn over the next 30 years.

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