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Work on Seoul-Shineuju Railway to be launched

Posted September. 17, 2000 19:42,   


Work on rebuilding the railway link between Seoul and Shineuiju in North Korea will be launched today in a ground-breaking ceremony to herald a new era of inter-Korean cooperation. Some 1,000 guests, including leaders of the three branches of government, representatives of civic organizations, former North Korean refugees and members of the diplomatic corps here are expected to attend the event at Imjingak in Paju City. The Ministry of Construction and Transportation said the public works project to reconnect the severed part of the rail line, 12 kilometers spanning Munsan and Jangdan (temporary name) stations, will cost a total of 54.7 billion won and will be completed by next September. Related work on the reconstruction of a 4-lane, 6-km highway linking the Unification Bridge with Jangdan will also begin


Gala performances by Didim Dancing Group and the Little Angels Choir will celebrate the ground-breaking ceremony. North Korea has decided to rebuild a matching railway section in the North extending 12 km between Jangdan and Bongdong. It is not clear, however, when it will break the ground for the projected work. According to government sources, it was

proposed that government leaders from each side visit the ground-breaking site on the other side of the border to commemorate the significance of these events, which will help ease tension and promote peace between the two Koreas. However, the North and South failed to agree on the exchange visits, and analysts feel that North Korea is likely to delay its own

ground-breaking for the railway project for some time. On Aug. 12, North Korean strongman Kim Jong-il told visiting media executives from the South that North Korea would follow the South soon after the latter starts laying the rail link.