A delegation from a South Korean consortium
will visit North Korea this week for a field study on a joint railway project between Pyongyang
and Moscow. Watchers say that, although North Korea continues
to call on Seoul to halt its upcoming joint military drills with Washington, there are
signs Pyongyang wants to try and get along. Connie Kim reports. The South Korean delegation’s
visit to the North comes amid steadily increasing hopes once chilly ties between the Koreas
are beginning to warm. A South Korean government official said Sunday
that 18 officials from the state-run rail operator KORAIL, steelmaker POSCO and Hyundai
Merchant Marine will visit North Korea’s northeastern port city Rajin for a field study for three
days from Tuesday. The South Korean consortium will fly to North
Korea from Vladivostok with Russian officials also taking part in the project.
The envisioned 54-kilometer railway line will run between the Russian border town of Khasan
and the North Korean port city of Rajin. South Korea’s involvement represents part
of President Park Geun-hye’s push to link energy and logistics infrastructure across
the continent. She agreed to support the joint railway project
during summit talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Seoul in November last year. The North’s recent peace offensive comes despite
Pyongyang’s recent call on Seoul to halt its upcoming joint military drills with the U.S.
North Korea issued a statement last Thursday saying that reconciliation and provocations
cannot co-exist, using the example of the upcoming inter-Korean family reunions, which
are due to start next week, and the drills, which Pyongyang says are practice for war.
Amid the slow warming of ties, the two Koreas also agreed last Friday to establish an Internet
network at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex. Connie Kim, Arirang News.