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Koreas to discuss groundbreaking ceremony for rail, road reconnection project

All Headlines 09:14 December 13, 2018

SEOUL, Dec. 13 (Yonhap) -- South and North Korea were set to hold working level talks on Thursday on a groundbreaking ceremony for their project to modernize North Korean railways and roads and connect them to the South.

President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed at their third summit in Pyongyang in September to hold a ceremony before the end of the year to break ground for the project to reconnect two sets of cross-border railways and roads.

Thursday's meeting will take place at the two Koreas' liaison office in the North's border town of Kaesong to work out details of the envisioned ceremony, including when and where to hold it, as well as the possible participants of the event, according to the unification ministry.

Kim Chang-su, a deputy chief of the liaison office from South Korea, and Hwang Chung-song, a senior North Korean official at the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, North Korea's state agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs, will take part in the talks, the ministry said.

Some government officials also planned to travel to the North to attend the meeting, it said.

As part of the project, the two sides have been conducting a joint railway inspection since last month to check the condition of the North's railways. They plan to conduct a similar inspection for cross-border roads before starting construction.

"The government will faithfully take part in the working level discussions to hold the groundbreaking ceremony before the year's end," the ministry said.

South Korea has also been in discussions with the United States about whether the ceremony would be in violation of sanctions. In that case, a sanctions waiver is required for the ceremony to go ahead. A similar sanctions exemption was granted by the U.N. Security Council for the railway inspection project.

Koreas to discuss groundbreaking ceremony for rail, road reconnection project - 1

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