Getting a Unified Economy on Track…

As reported by The International Herald Tribune, North and South Korea began regular cargo train service across their heavily armed border Tuesday for the first time in more than a half century. While I do not think that the 12-car train or the construction materials, shoes, underwear and other items will make a marked difference in the economies of either country, it is a symbolic yet tangible beginning. As the article notes:


“…The service is one of the tangible results of an October summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun that outlined a series of joint projects… The cargo train is to make a 16.5-kilometer (10-mile) round trip every weekday to North Korea…”

Perhaps more interesting is the shorter-term opportunity to provide a land-based economic corridor to create an overland route between Asia and Europe:

“…South Korea hopes the inter-Korean railway will ultimately be linked through North Korea to Russia’s Trans-Siberian railroad and allow an overland route connecting the peninsula to Europe — significantly cutting delivery times for freight that now requires sea transport.

“Though we start with a cargo train, it will lead to a passenger train service and will soon be linked to the continental trains,” Lee Chul, president of Korea Railroad, told reporters. “The economic benefits are countless….”

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2007 at 12:31 pm and is filed under North Korea, Russia, South Korea.  You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.  Both comments and pings are currently closed. 

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