A new round of consultations between Pyongyang and Seoul concerning construction of a Trans-Korean main train line is due next week, South Korean Ambassador to Moscow Chung Tae-ik told Russian news agencies on Friday.
"The project connecting the Trans-Korean and Trans-Siberian main lines will alleviate cargo and passenger traffic and bring Europe and Asia closer together," he said.
As part of the project, Seoul holds regular consultations with Russia and North Korea, Moscow and Pyongyang holding simultaneous consultations between themselves as well. In 2000 and 2001, Russian specialists looked into the state of the groundwork in North Korea and concluded that 2.5-3 billion dollars would be needed to fix up the main line. "Further on, it will be necessary to discuss who allocates these funds, how to ensure cargo transportation, and how to govern the future main line," Chung Tae-ik explained.
According to his words, No Mu-hyon, the President of South Korea, has set the task of turning the country into the region's cargo transportation center. North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, too, is greatly interested in the project since it will foster the development of economic relations between North Korea and other countries and regions.