Railroad to link Russia, two Koreas

Feb. 27, 2006 at 4:56 AM
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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- Russia and South Korea are coming closer to an agreement on connecting a Trans-Korean Railroad to the Trans-Siberian Railroad, Russia's railway head has said.

Vladimir Yakunin, the president of Russian Railways, said Sunday that the negotiations were being conducted within the framework of three-way meetings between Russia, North Korea and South Korea, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

"We have advanced considerably on the issue of rail transport with the South Korean side," Yakunin said.

He also said representatives of the three nations were being invited to a "demonstration trip" to Russia's Far East, including seaports, for further meetings.

"Invitations have been sent out," Yakunin said.

Negotiations on the reconstruction of the eastern sector of the Trans-Korean Railroad and its linkup to the Trans-Siberian Railroad have gone on for several years. The original idea to build an uninterrupted railroad from the Far East to the West was raised during the 2002 meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. There have been some financial problems during past years, and South Korea proposed North Korea and Russia invite other states into this project.

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