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Two Koreas discuss inter-Korean rail connection, modernization on Tuesday Updated: 2018-06-26 16:47:08 KST

Delegations from Seoul and Pyongyang met again on Tuesday -- this time, to discuss inter-Korean railway connections.
The talks began at 10AM, Korea time, at the border village of Panmunjom.
It's the first time that the two Koreas have discussed railways since 2008.
The delegates stressed they'll try and touch upon various practical issues to successfully implement April's summit agreement, the Panmunjom Declaration.

"There's been a drought recently and the weather's been pretty hot, but today we're seeing some welcome rain and the Imjin-gang river rose as well. I have a feeling that we could see some good results from our meeting today."

"I believe there are no differences on our willingness to connect our people's rail artery. Railways are the future of our economy. I believe, if we put our wisdom and power together on this glorious project, we could create some good results for our people."

The two Koreas connected one railway in 2004 -- between the South Korean capital Seoul and North Korean city of Sinuiju -- but renovation is needed to modernize it.
In addition to that railway, South and North Korea are hoping to connect their railway along the eastern coast of the peninsula -- which would start off in South Korea's southeastern city of Busan, cut through North Korea and even go into Russia and head towards Europe.
For that, the two Koreas will also have to find a way to modernize North Korea's railroads which are very old and can only allow trains to travel at low speeds.
But if it can be done, it would have a big impact.
South Korea will be connected to the rest of the continent, which would enable the movement of people and goods to Asia and Europe by train.

But it's difficult to expect specific actions needed for actually connecting and upgrading railways because of the international sanctions on North Korea.
So for now, Seoul and Pyongyang are expected to agree on investigating the current status of the rail network and conducting joint studies on how to modernize it.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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