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Joint railway inspection going as scheduled: unification ministry

All News 09:41 December 11, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Yonhap) -- A joint railway inspection that South and North Korea have been carrying out in the North is going as scheduled, the unification ministry said.

A group of South Korean railway officials and experts traveled to the North on Saturday to inspect a rail line running through the eastern part of the North. The two sides had earlier conducted a similar inspection on the North's western rail line.

The inspections are part of efforts to modernize the North's rail systems and ultimately reconnect cross-border railways. It was one of the reconciliation programs that President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed at their first summit talks in April.

According to the ministry, the 28-member South Korean team inspected the rail tracks from the North's eastern border town of Kosong to the county of Anbyon on Saturday by bus, not by train, because some of the tracks have been damaged or washed away.

The team then took a train at Anbyon for a 800-km inspection trip all the way to the Tumen River at the northeastern tip of the North. The South Korean train was also used for the inspection of the western Gyeongui line. The Donhae line inspection is scheduled to be completed by Monday.

"The North has told us that the inspection is going as scheduled," a ministry official said. "We will share related information as soon as it arrives from the North."

In September's third summit, Moon and Kim agreed to hold a ceremony to break ground for the railway modernization and reconnection project, but the widespread view is that actual construction can begin when there is progress in the stalled denuclearization talks between the United States and the North.

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