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Plans eyed to link Korea-Russian Railroads

Posted August. 02, 2000 21:07,   


Agreements on the reconnection of severed railway lines linking Seoul and Wonsan in North Korea and Seoul and Shinuiju, a North Korean city on the Chinese border, are likely to boost President Kim Dae-Jung`s proposal for South-North Korean railroads to be linked with Russia.

In particular, reconstruction of the Seoul-Wonsan line is crucial for the railway`s eventual connection to the Trans-Siberian Railroad (TSR), which runs from the Maritime Province of Siberia to Europe, and is expected to be accelerated with international financial aid from agencies like the U. N. Economic Commission for Asia and Pacific (EACAP) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

According to Construction-Transportation Ministry officials, in order to reopen the Seoul-Wonsan line, the government purchased land in 1998 for the construction of defunct railroads linking Shintan-ri, Kyonggi-do and Woljong-ri, Kangwon-do. The government is now putting the final touches on the railway re-connection plan.

The severed railroads between Shintan-ri and Woljong-ri in the South total 16.2 km, and those between Woljong-ri and Pyongkang in the North total 14.8 km.

Construction costs for the line between Shintan-ri and Woljong-ri are estimated at 86.6 billion won, and linking Woljong-ri with the North`s Pyongkang will coast an estimated 173.2 billion won.

Plans are underway to gain loans from international financial institutions, including the ADB, in addition to domestic funds to be provided by Seoul and Pyongyang.