Koreas inaugurate rail, road linking projects

Updated: Dec 27, 2018, 10:47 IST | Agencies

A South Korean train carrying about 100 people "including government officials, lawmakers and aging relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean War" rolled into the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where they were greeted by North Koreans

South and North Korean government officials connect northern and southern railroad tracks during a groundbreaking ceremony
South and North Korean government officials connect northern and southern railroad tracks during a groundbreaking ceremony

North and South Korea broke ground Wednesday on an ambitious project to modernise North Korean railways and roads and connect them with the South, but without progress in nuclear negotiations, trains won't be crossing the border anytime soon.

The ceremony at the North Korean border town of Kaesong came weeks after the Koreas conducted a joint survey on the northern railway sections they hope to someday link with the South. It's one of several peace gestures agreed between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in as they push ahead with engagement amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. But beyond on-site reviews and ceremonies, the Koreas cannot move much further along without the removal of US-led sanctions against the North.

A South Korean train carrying about 100 people "including government officials, lawmakers and aging relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean War" rolled into the North Korean border town of Kaesong, where they were greeted by North Koreans. North and South Korean officials signed a wooden railroad tie, unveiled a new signboard and observed a ceremonial connecting of northern and southern tracks at Kaesong's Panmun Station. Officials from China and Russia were invited to witness the symbolic start of an ambitious project.

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