S Korean train arrives in N Korea for joint railway inspection
Kaesong [Korea DPR], Nov 30 : A South Korean train arrived here at the Panmun station this morning for an 18-day joint railway inspection which aims at modernising railway lines and eventually connecting both the nations through railways.
Several South Korean officials and experts traveled on the train to carry out inspections of around 1,200 kilometres of railway tracks in North Korea till December 17, for which the very same train will be used.
Due to the sanctions imposed on North Korea, the train carried its own fuel that would be needed for the duration of the inspections. South Korea will have to carry back all the leftover fuel back to its nation so as to not breach sanctions, according to CNN.
"The inter-Korean railway connection project is intended to overcome division and open a new future of the Korean Peninsula," South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said during the departure ceremony at Dorasan.
He further mentioned that the connected railways would be a marker of peace in the Korean peninsula. "Through the one connected railway, the South and the North will prosper together and the ground for peace on the Korean Peninsula will be consolidated. The trains running on the track will also carry peace and prosperity with them to Northeast Asia and the world," he said.
The train will first undertake a 400 kilometre, 6-day long inspection journey on the Gyeongui Line to reach Sinuiju, which is near North Korea's border with China.
Then, the train, which will be guided by a North Korean locomotive, will travel on the 800 kilometre long Donghae Line for 10-days for inspections, from Mount Kumgang to Tumen River.
The project has been given sanction exemptions by the United Nations Security Council and enjoys support from the United States.