Russia Opens Landmark N.Korean Rail Link

RAJIN (North Korea), September 22 (RIA Novosti) – Russia reopened Sunday a 54-kilometer (33-mile) railway link connecting the North Korean port city of Rajin with the Russian border town of Khasan as part of the project that is expected to speed shipments and trade in the region, Prime news agency reported.

Head of state-run Russian Railways Vladimir Yakunin, who took part in the opening ceremony, said that the reconstructed line would transport coal and import goods from South Korea and Asian states. According to the plan, the single railway system of South Korea and isolated North Korea is to connect the Korean Peninsula with Europe via Russia, the Russian official said, Prime reported.

The second phase of the project will include the construction of a container-handling facility and a terminal, which would work at the capacity of 4 million tons, he said.

Yakunin added that the railway project, started back in 2009, should help improve the situation between the two rival Koreas.

“We, railway workers, are set for cooperation. We always work for peace, and we hope that this project will not only promote peace on the Korean Peninsula, but help friendly and peaceful relations between our countries,” Yakunin was quoted as saying during the ceremony.

The agreement between Moscow and Pyongyang on the link was reached in 2000 by President Vladimir Putin and then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.


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