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Report: South Korea railroad agency requests assessment of North

By Elizabeth Shim
Report: South Korea railroad agency requests assessment of North
South and North Korea agreed to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for an inter-Korea railroad by the end of 2018. File Photo by Keizo Mori/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 16 (UPI) -- South Korea's railroad corporation placed a request for proposal for an assessment of the economic viability of an inter-Korea railroad, independent of a joint survey between North and South, according to a local press report.

Revelations the Korea Railroad Corp. placed a request for proposals come a day after the two Koreas agreed to hold a groundbreaking ceremony in either late November or early December for a railroad project.

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The request was sent out in August, but was made known publicly on Tuesday, Kyunghyang Shinmun reported.

The order for research services includes assessments of the utility rate of the railroad for the logistics industry, analyses of North Korea train stations and their logistic facilities, time required for travel between destinations and the feasibility of double-track railways, according to the report.

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Estimates of trade volume via railroad are being sought by South Korea's railroad agency.

The research will form the background for the creation of indices that show the effectiveness of the new connection for logistics as it eventually links to other railroads of the greater Asian continent, according to Kyunghyang.

North and South Korea agreed to relink the railroad in April, when the leaders of the two sides met in Panmunjom.

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South Korean President Moon Jae-in has called for the easing of North Korea sanctions during a state visit to France, a statement that contradicts U.S. policy.

South Korea's foreign ministry said Tuesday Seoul and Washington are "consulting closely," however.

North Korea warned the United States against the continued enforcement of unilateral sanctions on Tuesday.

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In an article in KCNA, a North Korea official said not lifting sanctions is equivalent to ending engagement.

"Time has passed since we stopped nuclear tests and launches of long-range rockets, it is only reasonable to do away with sanctions," the statement read.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un are expected to hold a second summit in November or December.

South Korean President Moon makes state visit to Paris

South Korean President Moon makes state visit to Paris
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (R), with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, acknowledges the crowd as he arrives at City Hall for an official welcome ceremony in Paris on Tuesday. Photo by David Silpa/UPI | License Photo

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