[photopress:korean_train_1.jpg,thumb,alignright]No, it has not happened and no one is making any official suggestion that it is even on the cards. But the recent demonstration of trains running between North and South Korea is a step — even if only on a one-off test basis — a big step in the right direction.
There are hopes are for regular trains to start carrying workers to the industrial center at Kaesong, and for tourists to be able to use the trains for visiting Mount Kumgang in the east. No North Korean visitors to the South would be expected until there is a radical change in politics — but it could happen.
The railway between the North Korean port of Najin and the Russian town of Khasan needs repairs and impovements and this is being considered by the Russians who would like to develop the port into a logistics hub and and future oil and gas terminal. The port is also close to the Chinese border and Beijing has promised Pyongyang $1 billion to improve the port and the railway as well.
According to Senior Executive Director of Korail, 2008 is the target for introduction of through-trains between Seoul and China. Well, yes, but if the North Koreans are not willing to play ball it is not going to happen. And their recognition of the first trains to cross was very muted.
But it could happen and should reduce transportation costs for South Korean exporters. And maybe, just maybe, the rail system will open up and the station at Dorasan will see some cross border passengers.
Source: Seoul Man
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