The Iron Silk Road: Reconnecting the Russia-North Korea Rail Link

Courtesy of STRATFOR (subscription required), an interesting look at the reconnected Russia-North Korea rail link:

Reconnecting the Russia-North Korea Rail Link

North Korea and Russia marked the reopening of a cross-border rail link connecting Russia’s Khasan with North Korea’s Rason port development zone. The rail reconnection, agreed upon more than a decade ago, will initially be used by Russia to transport coal to the North Korean port for shipment to markets in Asia. Future development of a container port and oil terminal are also planned. The Rason zone is being developed by Russia and China, and both are looking to use the warm-water port.

While Russia sees this as a terminal for export to Asia, China also believes it would be beneficial for supplementing the occasionally disrupted land corridors between northeast and southeast China. For North Korea, any economic development is positive, particularly development that involves rival countries, since it gives Pyongyang the ability to better exploit their competing interests. In the longer run, the reconnected rail lines are also intended to link South Korea to the Chinese and Russian rail systems, expanding the so-called Iron Silk Road and potentially giving South Korea a leg up over its regional economic rival Japan by significantly shortening the time it takes for South Korean goods to reach Europe.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 25th, 2013 at 6:36 pm and is filed under China, North Korea, Russia.  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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