Two Koreas linked by railway

The ceremony of linking South and North Koreas by a railway will be held today. An understanding on this was reached this week at the talks in North Korea. This event is timed to coincide with the third anniversary of the inter-Korean summit held in the summer of 2000 in Pyongyang.

The railways of the two Koreas will be linked together in the eastern and western parts of the demilitarized zone dividing the two countries. The rails, which have already been laid at two railroad sections, 25 meters each, will be joined.

Thus, the railway network of South Korea will for the first time get access to the Russian Trans-Siberian Railway (Transsib) through North Korea and will be linked with Europe.

It is expected that the trains will start running on the joined rails in September.

Russia's Foreign Ministry spoke highly of the understanding reached between Seoul and Pyongyang on restoring railway communication between the Koreas. In the opinion of the ministry, this will help improve the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

As regards the prospect of linking the Korean railways with Transsib, a variant suiting all the parties concerned, which would be most effective economically, is looked for now. Russia is "prepared for most active cooperation in this undertaking," Foreign Ministry officials said.

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