Seoul to begin process this year for inter-Korean transport links
SEOUL, South Korea plans to commence the domestic process within this year for reconnecting rail and road links with the North, the transport ministry said Sunday.
During a leaders' summit in April, South and North Korea agreed to push for modernizing and connecting cross-border roads and railways. South Korean officials traveled to the North last week for joint inspections of railway sections running along the east coast.
In its report submitted to parliament, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport outlined its plan to proceed with the project to restore severed sections in the South -- a 104.6 kilometer section of the eastern railway and an 11.8 kilometer road of the western highway.
The government estimated it will cost 2.349 trillion won (US$2.07 billion) to build the eatern railway and 517.9 billion won to build the western highway, according to the ministry.
The ministry plans to draw up the basic plans and begin budget consultations in the second half of the year, according to the document.
"What we are to start this year will be solely for the section in our territory. It is part of preparation for full-pledged inter-Korean cooperation, which can begin only after the North's nuclear issues are fully resolved and international sanctions on the North are lifted," a ministry official said.
Source: Yonhap News Agency