By Kim Minji
A South Korean survey team will visit North Korea to inspect the East Sea (Donghae) Rail from Dec. 8 after having studied the Gyeongui Line from Nov. 30 to Dec. 5.
The team will visit railways and facilities stretching from Geumgangsan Mountain to the Tumen River (800 km) in the hope of facilitating a groundbreaking ceremony for an inter-Korean rail. If the rail is opened, it would be the first time for South Korean trains to run from the mountain to the Dumangang River since the peninsula was divided.
“The railway seemed much the same as it was when a survey was done in 2007. North Korea apparently has not paid much attention to railway maintenance,” said Lee Jung-gon, deputy director of the Railway Construction Division Office of the Railway Bureau under the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
Having taken part in the joint survey, Lee added, “Trains south of Pyeongyang ran 15~20 km per hour, whereas those north of Pyeongyang, where an international train runs once a day, ran at 50-60 km.”
The South’s survey team on Saturday will depart from Seoul at 4 a.m. and go from Geumgang Mountain Station to Anbyeon Station by bus. Members will then conduct their survey up to Dumangang River station and ride a train.
The team earlier conducted a six-day study from Nov. 30 on the Gyeongui Line from Gaeseong to Sinuiju (400 km). A third of the team studying this line will be reassigned to another group for studying the Donghae Line.