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(LEAD) S. Koreans leave for N. Korea to conduct joint road survey

North Korea 10:01 December 21, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS headline, first 2 paras with updated info)

SEOUL, Dec. 21 (Yonhap) -- A group of South Korean officials left for North Korea on Friday to conduct a joint inspection of a highway along North Korea's east coast as part of an inter-Korean project to modernize and reconnect roads and railways over their border.

Some 10 South Korean officials crossed into the North via the eastern border at around 9 a.m. for a three-day trip to inspect the 100-kilometer Goseong-Wonsan section of the highway, according to the unification ministry.

They plan to visit the North again on Monday to check a 4-km stretch of road near the North's border town of Kaesong on the western line to supplement a joint survey that the two Koreas conducted in August.

Since they are not bringing special survey equipment, the trip will likely aim at checking the overall road conditions for future review.

The inspection is in line with the agreement between their leaders in April to modernize and connect the roads and railways across their border as part of efforts to foster balanced development and co-prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

The two Koreas recently concluded an 18-day inspection of the North's railways in the western and eastern regions. The United Nations granted the railway inspection a sanctions waiver, ending monthslong delay in the joint work.

Seoul and Pyongyang are currently preparing to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the joint project at Panmun Station in Kaesong on Wednesday but details have yet to be determined, including who will attend and how the event will be organized.


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