동해북부선 추진 기념식 기사 01

Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee (left) and Minister of Unification Kim Yeon Chul on April 27 sign a sleeper during a ceremony to mark the start of the Donghae Bukbu Line at Jejin Station in Goseong-gun county, Gangwon-do Province.



By Lee Hana

Photos = Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport


"A 'New Deal' project for the Korean Peninsula."


This is what Minister of Unification Kim Yeon Chul said on April 27 at a ceremony for the start of the Donghae Bukbu Line project, which will finish a railway connecting the two Koreas, on the second anniversary of the 2018 Panmunjeom Declaration.


"The construction of the Donghae Bukbu Line is a 'New Deal' project for the Korean Peninsula that will revitalize our economy. Once this railway is completed, it will kick off the East Sea economic bloc, a central axis for the peninsula's economy, connected by land and sea and open the era of our east coast," he said.


Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee also attended the event, and said, "The Donghae Bukbu Line project contributes not only to our balanced national development but also prepares for inter-Korean cooperation in railroads. Because this is a long-cherished project, we aim to complete the master plan by year's end and speed things up by starting construction by the end of next year."


동해북부선 추진 기념식 기사 02

Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee, Minister of Unification Kim Yeon Chul and other dignitaries on April 27 attend a ceremony to mark the start of the Donghae Bukbu Line project at Jejin Station in Goseong-gun county, Gangwon-do Province.


The single-track rail line will stretch 110.9 km between the stations of South Gangneung and Jejin and cost an estimated KRW 2.85 trillion, according to the unification and land ministries. Construction will begin once the master plan and a feasibility study finalize the project's overall scale.


The line is part of an inter-Korean project launched in 2000 to connect rail lines on both sides of the peninsula.


The Research Institute for Gangwon in a 2018 report said the Donghae Bukbu Line will have an economic generating effect of KRW 4.74 trillion in production, KRW 1.91 trillion in added value and the creation of 38,910 jobs 40 years after its completion.


hlee10@korea.kr

 

 

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The 2018 Inter-Korean Summit has led to growing interest in a high-speed railway connecting South and North Korea. Moon Jong-mook, director of the Pan-Citizen Measure Committee for Nurturing the KTX Gwangmyeong Eurasia Departure Station, holds up a virtual train ticket on Dec. 31, 2017. (Gwangmyeong City)



By Kim Tae Won and Hahm Hee-eun

With the success of the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit, expectations for an inter-Korean and trans-Eurasian railway are now rising concomitantly.

In the Panmunjeom Declaration, the two Korean leaders agreed to "practical measures to connect and modernize the Donghae and Gyeongui railways and roads," and virtual train tickets for a train that would connect the Korean Peninsula to Russia and to Europe is already popular on Korean social media.

Starting on Dec. 31 last year, it has been possible to show your support for the idea of a connected train network by "reserving" a virtual ticket on the Gwangmyeong-Paris Eurasia Continental Railway. The online campaign is being led by Gwangmyeong City in Gyeonggi-do Province and has attracted quite a lot of online attention, so far. Online virtual train tickets dated Jan. 1, 2022, that start at the KTX Gwangmyeong Station and run to Pyeongyang and then onward to Moscow and Paris have been distributed to more than 30,000 people so far.

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The Russian TV station Channel 1 reports on the 2018 Inter-Korean Summit and the possibility of building a railway across the Korean Peninsula to the Russian Far East. (Channel 1)



Russia is also showing great interest in helping to connect an inter-Korean railway.

Russia's Channel 1 announced on the Saturday Vesti News show that, "Korean goods will pass through North Korea and Khasan Station in Primorsky Krai, which is the starting point of the Trans-Siberian Railway," and added that, “The connected railway will be a huge benefit for Russia and Europe," on April 28.

The Russian newspaper Komersant also said in an article on April 27 under the headline “Peace on Korean Peninsula has come half-way” that, "The most important part of the Panmunjeom Declaration for Russia is the resumption of an inter-Korean railway connection." The article further said that, "The Eurasian Railway is the first step toward unification in Korea. For Russia, it will be a good way to guarantee cargo transportation between Korea and the Pacific coast."


twkim0717@korea.kr





 

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