Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

North Korea, South Korea Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony for Railway Project

North Korea, South Korea Hold Groundbreaking Ceremony  for Railway Project

SEOUL - South Korean officials attended a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday on a project meant to modernize North Korea’s railways and roads to connect them with the South.
The event at the North Korean border town of Kaesong is one of a number of peace gestures agreed between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and liberal South Korean President Moon Jae-in as they push ahead with engagement amid a stalemate in larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang. However, the ceremony is largely symbolic, since the project cannot make major strides without the removal of U.S.-led sanctions against North Korea. The two Koreas conducted a joint survey of the northern railway sections they hope to link with the South weeks ago. During his three summits with Moon and a meeting with President Donald Trump in June, Kim signed vague statements pledging a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing how and when it would occur. But followup nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for months over the sequencing of the denuclearization that Washington wants and the removal of international sanctions desired by Pyongyang.
South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs, said the Seoul government plans to conduct further surveys on North Korean railways and roads before drawing up a detailed blueprint for the project.
“Actual construction will be pursued in accordance with progress in the North’s denuclearization and the state of sanctions against the North,” the ministry said in a statement.
Even if the North takes concrete steps toward denuclearization and gains sanctions relief, some experts say updating North Korean rail networks and trains, which creak slowly along the rails that were first built in the early 20th century, could take decades and massive investment.  (Fox News)