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Kim unveils inter-Korean rail line accord

Posted August. 14, 2000 19:59,   


President Kim Dae-Jung disclosed on August 14 that the two Koreas had agreed to hold a ground-breaking ceremony for the re-connection of the Kyongui Rail Line linking Seoul and Shinuiju, a northwestern North Korean city bordering China, around Chusok (Harvest Moon Festival) September 12.

Kim made the statement at a luncheon meeting with 130 divided family members who will visit Pyongyang Tuesday to participate in the inter-Korean family reunion. President Kim told them that the reopening of the rail line would boost personnel and material exchanges between the two Koreas. He also said that if the Kyongui line and the Kyongwon line, which links Seoul and the eastern North Korean port city of Wonsan, are re-connected, an "iron silk road" will be forged with an underground tunnel between Korea and Japan.

The President noted that the government would strive to promote the establishment of reunion venues, mail exchanges and hometown visits for divided families, and said members of these families would eventually have the right to choose if they wanted to live in the South or the North.

President Kim said that if the North`s economy is improved, the danger of war will be dispelled, and stressed that the compatriots in the two Koreas need to cooperate with each other to attain common development.

Meanwhile, Kim asserted that he was firmly opposed to communism and that unification under communism was intolerable. He stated that national security must be tightened and the breakout of internecine war prevented under all circumstances.