A joint railway project involving both Koreas
and Russia is about to be kicked off. South Korean officials are now in North Korea
to assess a transportation test,… which starts from a port in North Korea… and ending
in a South Korean port. Lee Ji-yoon shows us what this means for all
parties involved. Over 40-thousand tons of Russian coal will land on South Korean soil
this week. What′s so special about that… is that
the coal will actually travel through… North Korea.
A group of South Korean officials arrived in the North Korean port of Rajin on Monday,…
to oversee a test run scheduled for this Friday. This test run will include delivering the
coal from the Russian station of Khasan to Rajin on a 54-kilometer railway.
Once the coal reaches Rajin ,… it will be shipped on a Chinese bulk carrier… to South
Korea′s southeastern port of Pohang. So what′s in it for these three countries
as they get ready to mark the first test-run of the Rajin-Khasan project?
Russia sees the new export route as a gateway to opening up its far eastern regions.
North Korea… is looking to develop the Rajin port to not only export resources like coal
from Russia and China,… but also to move manufactured goods from South Korea and Japan
into Asia. For South Korea, the project will cut down
shipping costs and promote more trade with other European countries.
Experts say… the project might also help mend inter-Korea relations and build trust
between the two countries. South Korea banned investments in North Korea
after the regime torpedoed a South Korean warship in 2010, suspending almost all inter-Korean
economic projects. The government, however, has allowed the consortium
to indirectly invest by purchasing Russian stakes in the initiative.
Lee Ji-yoon, Arirang News.