Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee (fourth from left) on April 11 speaks to OSJD (Organization for Cooperation of Railways) Chairman Tadeusz Szosda (third from left) at the 34th Conference of General Directors of OSJD Railways held at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel.

Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Kim Hyun-mee (fourth from left) on April 11 speaks to OSJD (Organization for Cooperation of Railways) Chairman Tadeusz Szozda (third from left) at the 34th Conference of General Directors of OSJD Railways held at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel.

By Lee Jihae 
Photos = Jeon Han 

The chairman of the Poland-based Organization for Cooperation of Railways (OSJD) on April 11 urged the connection of the railways of Europe and the two Koreas, calling the envisioned shortened transportation times “sensational.”

Speaking at the 34th Conference of General Directors of OSJD Railways at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel, Tadeusz Szozda said, “We hope that the momentum from the inter-Korean summits and (those between North Korea and the U.S.) will have a positive effect on the inter-Korean railway construction project.”

“Rail lines between the two Koreas remained disconnected and forbidden (to reconnect). Shipping products from South Korea to Europe takes about 40 days. The construction of a linked railroad between the two Koreas will almost halve the conveyance process to about two weeks. Such a shortened transportation time will be sensational.”

OSJD Chairman Tadeusz Szozda (right) on April 11 urges the connection of inter-Korean railways in a news conference at the 34th Conference of General Directors of OSJD Railways held at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel.

OSJD Chairman Tadeusz Szozda (right) on April 11 urges the connection of inter-Korean railways in a news conference at the 34th Conference of General Directors of OSJD Railways held at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel.

In a congratulatory video message sent to the conference, President Moon Jae-in said, “The Korean government has proposed an East Asian rail community comprising six East Asian countries and the United States. We hope that the rail will contribute to a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.”

“We also hope that the East Asian rail community will build energy and economic communities and become a cornerstone for multilateral security. The connected railway between the two Koreas will become the Silk Road of steel for Eurasia.”

Twenty OSJD member states and 300 representatives on April 11 at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel attend a session of the international rail organization’s first conference hosted by Korea.

Twenty OSJD member states and 300 representatives on April 11 at Seoul’s Lotte Hotel attend a session of the international rail organization’s first conference hosted by Korea.

Twenty of the OSJD’s 29 member states and approximately 300 people attended the conference, where they reported on the organization’s projects last year, the performances of its five commissions and 15 agenda items.

Korea Railroad Corp. (Korail) CEO Son Byung-seok said, “The main agenda items of today’s conference were the amendment of regulations, technology standardization and information connection among OSJD member states to maximize efficiency of railway operations. We held practical discussions on a continental railway operating system and technology to complement continental railway operations.”

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