Education superintendent to propose plan for South Korean students to visit NK

Arturo Kim
December 28, 2018

The United States and the U.N. Security Council gave their support for the ceremony, South Korean officials said, but construction can not begin while sanctions block the shipment of energy and metal products, as well as other supplies.

Seoul said the ceremony was meaningful, and showed that the two were willing to work with each other, but cautioned that it would not herald the start of actual work on reconnecting the Koreas - which remain technically at war after their 1950-1953 conflict ended without a peace treaty. The success of the joint rail and road project depends "on the will and determination of our people", said the North Korean Vice-Minister of Railways Kim Yun Hyok in Kaesong.

A team of nearly 100 officials from the South, including the transport and reunification ministers, took a two-hour train ride to attend the ceremony.

Trains of South Korea, center left, and of North Korea, center right, are seen at Panmun Station in Kaesong, North Korea.

Last week's alleged radar incident joined a list of issues discussed by diplomats from the two countries at a meeting in South Korea's capital Seoul on Monday.

The ministry said North Korea is an enemy unless the country stops military provocations. "If (the South) keeps looking around to check someone's mood and continues wavering, reunification would never be achieved", he said at the ceremony at the Panmun railway station in the North's border city of Kaesong.

The U.S., he added, is "hopeful that in the new year President Trump and Chairman Kim will get together not too long after the first of the year and make even further progress on taking this threat to the United States away from us".

SEOUL, Dec 26 - The two Koreas held a ceremony on Wednesday for a project to reconnect rail and road links, although construction can not begin while sanctions over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs remain in place, officials said.

Saudi king appoints new foreign minister in major cabinet reshuffle
Saudi King Salman on Thursday announced a new list of appointees to key positions in the country's political and security council. General Kalid bin Qirar al-Harbi was named general security chief, while Musaed al-Aiban was appointed national security adviser.

Trump's very first visit to the troops stirs up trouble in Iraq
The president and first lady greeted troops in Iraq in a dining hall, taking photos and signing autographs as part of the visit. Trump signed the MAGA hats and other pro-Trump items during his stops this week to visit troops at bases in Iraq and Germany .

Japan to withdraw from International Whaling Commission
Nonetheless, Japanese lawmakers want to promote whales not only as a source of protein but as part of Japan's cultural tradition. Since then, Japan has repeatedly called for a resumption of commercial whaling of species whose numbers have recovered.

Moments later, some 10 delegates from both the South and the North lined up along the railroad and pulled yellow levers to link up the railway tracks in a symbolic gesture.

Since then, the Koreas devoted much attention into conducting joint inspections of North Korea's railways, which covered a total of 2,600 kilometers (1,615 miles) along the North's western and eastern coasts and took 18 days.

Armida Alisjahbana, executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Vladimir Tokarev, Russia's vice transport minister, and Mongolian Transport Minister Sodbaatar Yangug all voiced support for the railway project.

The optimistic tone of Wednesday's ceremony, however, did little to dismiss the fact that actual construction on the project, as well as any other inter-Korean economic initiatives, remains effectively blocked by worldwide sanctions in place against the North due to its past nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Meanwhile, South Korea's political sphere was divided over the event.

"I'm just deeply moved", Shin said.

Other notable participants included the conductor who ran the final few trips in 2008 on the Gyeongui Line - the railway connecting Seoul and the North along the western coast - and five South Koreans with family members in the North, some of whom were in the North's delegation.

He suggested that a part of the sanctions on Pyongyang be lifted, for example, on the railway and road connection project or special economic zones in the DPRK, in return for Pyongyang's further measures for denuclearization.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article