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Kyongui line to be reconnected by next fall

Posted August. 03, 2000 20:52,   


The government plans to begin the proposed restoration work on the Kyongui Line as early as this fall and could complete it one year later, putting an agreement reached by the two Koreas at their first round of ministerial talks in Seoul last week into immediate action.

A Unification Ministry official said the government will begin restoration work for the Kyoungi Line as early as this fall to rapidly implement the project. He added that it may be possible to reconnect the severed rail section between the two Koreas one year after construction is launched.

The official said construction will begin as soon as an agreement is reached with the North. He said two Koreas will discuss the issue in their second round of ministerial talks but added that they could hold working-level talks earlier if the need arises. Basically, the South and North will each be in charge of restoration work for the severed railway sections in their respective territories.

The government estimates it will cost 50 billion won to reconnect a 12-km section between Munsan and Changdan, the southern part of the divided line.

A Unification Ministry official said the ministry has long considered restoring Kyoungi Line and has already purchased land needed to lay rail lines and completed plans for the project. This means additional expenses will be necessary, he said.

The official said the North is likely to mobilize its military for the restoration work, but added that Pyongyang may ask the South to cover the expenses, a matter that would be open to negotiation. The source of the funds necessary to rebuild the rail line has not been confirmed, but it is likely to be the South-North Cooperation Fund.