Source Pravda.Ru

Ray of light on the “axis of evil”

The main sensation of the day: Officials of both Koreas agreed in Seoul ro reestablish a railway connections between the two counties by the end of the year

Zhenmin-Zhibao reported today at 9:13 that negotiations on inter-Korean economical cooperation had been put off. However, literally a minute later, one more report arrived: unity on some subjects of the meeting on inter-Korean economical cooperation had been achieved. However, there was some scepticism: although the parties brought together their positions on some questions, “essential discrepancies appeared on the issue of building a trans-border railway and the highway.” While several minutes later, a bomb report arrived from Seoul: the North and South Koreas agreed to launch on September 18 a project to link on their railways, which should be finished by the end of this year. This was reported by telegraph agencies of both North and South Koreas.

Therefore, the activities of Russian diplomacy in the Far East (visits of the the Russian foreign minister to both Korean capitals and one more visit of Kim Jong Il to Russia) brought to this progress of the Korean People’s Democratic Republic and in inter-Korean dialogue: the long-expected visit to Pyongyang of the high US diplomat, decision of Japanese Prime-Minister to visit North Korea, and, finally, the signing today an agreement about economical cooperation between the Korean People’s Democratic Republic and Republic of Korea. While the main point of this document is the re-establishment of a railway connection between the two countries. The agreement foresees some concrete steps: for example, direct contacts of between the two militaries, which is needed for work on mine fiels.

As for Russia, it really has a very promising prospect to re-establish Trans-Korean thoroughfare with Trans-Siberian thoroughfare, which will turn then into one of the most important transit channels between East Asia and West Europe.

At the same time, such a route will further the political and economical interests of both Koreas, as well as Japan and China. At least it will ruin the US myth about the "axis of evil" and turn the Korean Peninsula into an area of peace.

Andrei Krushinsky PRAVDA.Ru Beijing

Translated by Vera Solovieva

Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/08/31/46464.html