SEOUL, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- A South Korean team of railroad inspectors departed Thursday to North Korea to survey train tracks on the eastern line, South Korea's unification ministry said.
South Koreans will join a North Korean railroad inspection team and travel some 497 miles together from Mount Kumkang to Tumen River along the east coast from Sunday through Dec. 17, according to Yonhap News.
South and North Korea surveyed some 250 miles of railroads of Gyeongui Line between Kaesong and Sinuiju from last Friday to Wednesday.
North and South Korean leaders agreed to reconnect disjointed railways and modernize North Korean railroads at a summit.
The inter-Korean railway project, however, has been subject to debates on whether it breaches United Nations sanctions as it involves transportation of equipment and materials that the U.N. forbids.
The U.N. Security Council exempted the survey from sanctions last month, and North and South Korean officials went ahead with their plan to examine railroad conditions in North Korea to draw up plans for construction to connect railroads between North and South.
South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said that trains will soon run across North and South Korea, according to Chosun Ilbo.
"The train that stopped for so long is getting ready to run to the North," Cho said at a forum on Thursday.
He added that the government is taking steps to allow visitors in the Joint Security Area, one of the most heavily guarded zones in the North-South Korea border village, to walk across the North and South Korean sides without any restriction, as agreed in a military agreement between North and South.