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“A Historic Event Is Still a Long Way Away From an Official Opening”

“A Historic Event Is Still a Long Way Away From an Official Opening”

Posted May. 18, 2007 03:14,   

한국어

Many international media outlets called the test run of two trains making the crossing between the two Koreas a “historic event.” The Associated Press, Reuters and BBC News reported that, “Trains will soon cross the most heavily armed border in the world” and, “People had to travel by airplane or ship to travel to and from South Korea until now, but the reconnection of the railways will establish better transportation links to China and Europe.”

They called the reconnection of the train tracks “symbolic.” The English weekly magazine Guardian Weekly wrote that the test run sends positive signals despite the short length of the track involved (25-27 km). At the same time, the magazine warned that the temporary reconnection may not lead to an official re-opening.

The Associated Press said, “In the long run, for South Korea, goods produced with the cheap labor of the North will be exported on the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR); for its part, North Korea will attract more tourists to Mt. Geumgang from the South.” However, the AP sounded a negative note, saying that the test run was a one-off event, the cost was borne 100% by the South Korean government, and that Pyongyang will be provided with 80 million USD in light industrial materials by Seoul for its rail cooperation.



mickey@donga.com