The 38th parallel is vanishing - 17 September, 2002

This is really an astounding thing to happen, especially against the background of the events of June 29.  That day a North Korean coastal guard boat  shot a South Korean  military ship, which prevented  N.Korean fishermen from catching crabs.  The South Korean ship sank.

The administration of the American president  went hysterical over it. It publicly cancelled  the previously arranged visit of its official to Pyongyang. Bush’s administration started exacerbating the situation in the region of the so-called “axis of evil” that it concocted itself. American top officials are being as passionate about it as they are towards Iraq now. 

It deemed that inter-Korean peaceful process was going down.  Saving that process from sinking was like a miracle.   A miracle happened! The newspaper Korea Herald  wrote that top military officials of the both parties conducted negotiations and developed a detailed agreement.  The document contained 41 paragraphs.  Those paragraphs provided safety measures for the workers that  would participate  in the historic mission of releasing  the 38th parallel. The parallel has been separating  the Korean nation  for many years after WWII.

The miracle happened owing to two factors. First of all, it became possible due to the restraint that was shown by Korean leaders after the incident at sea. The active interference of the Russian diplomacy also played a positive role in the problem. Russia was skilful enough to use  the blockade that the USA set up against North Korea. Russian Foreign Minister went to Seoul and Pyongyang a month after the conflict with Korean ships.

Kim Jong-il traveled to Russia’s Far East in his famous train three weeks after that visit. On August 24 Kim  had a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Three more days later (on August 28) a session  of the committee for the inter-Korean economic cooperation took place.  The committee passed several agreements, the most important one of them was about the connection of the railways in both South and north Koreas.

Did that progress happen due to the Russian participation?  The answer to this question is definitely positive. The key issue of the inter-Korean rapprochement at the moment is the perspective of the future connection between the Trans-Korean Railway and the Trans-Siberian Railway.  Stable and safe railway communication between Asia and Europe, the Pacific and the Atlantic territories will serve for the welfare of the two Koreas. This will certainly be beneficial to Russia and its Far East region in terms of the economic cooperation.

At the end of the day, the implementation of such a grand projection will be extremely favorable to the economic interests of other countries of the region. First and foremost, it goes about Japan.  This country is already working on its plans to join the railway  project. Japan is planning to build a tunnel under the sea floor: from its most southern island to the southern edge of the Korean peninsula. Needless to mention, that it is a matter of the future, for the cost of such a tunnel is reportedly more that $77 billion.

Andrey Krushinsky

Subscribe to Pravda.Ru Telegram channel, Facebook, RSS!

Author`s name Olga Savka