Go to contents

“Sign of North Korea Resuming The Kyongui [Seoul - Sinuiju] Line Connection Construction Project“

“Sign of North Korea Resuming The Kyongui [Seoul - Sinuiju] Line Connection Construction Project“

Posted January. 18, 2002 09:43,   


On the 17th, President Kim Dae-Jung said, "I received the report yesterday that North Korea is renonvating the barracks in the Kyongui Line construction area. This appears to be a sign that North Korea is reconnecting the railway line."

President Kim invited 240 civil servants who is working for public welfare to the Cheong Wa Dae and lunched with them, making statements such as "Although the market is widely open in China, we can`t go to China by car or train because we could not connect the 14 kilometers in North Korea."

A high-ranking official of the Ministry of National Defense (MND) remarked, "We perceived that the North renovated or reconstructed the barracks in Namchon, Bong-dong, Kaeseong city, the northern reconstruction area of the Kyungui Line site since the end of last year. And the number of military personnel deployed for construction increased a lot."

He added, "The MND thinks that the North has intentions of resuming reconstruction of the Kyongui Line because they renovated the barracks into relatively solid buildings."

Another official of the MND said, "It is known that the North hopes for foreign tourists to come and go across the South and the North, taking advantage of the connection between the two nations during the Arirang festival, which will be held around the 15th of April, the ninetieth birthday of Kim Il-Seong, and the World Cup in Korea."

It is known that China recommended that North Korea should resume the project for reconnecting the Kyongui Line because China sees this as an economic opportunity for people in their own country to enter the South by land via North Korea during the World Cup in South Korea.

The North had prepared for the reconstruction, deploying 4,000 soldiers and setting up 150 barracks on the railway gap in the North in September of 2000, but stopped construction last May.

Dong-Ki Sung ysmo@donga.com · esprit@donga.com