N Korea, Russia to open railway in October: Report

North Korea and Russia will reopen a cross-border railway in October after four years of work, Pyongyang`s official news agency said on Monday.

Seoul: North Korea and Russia will reopen a
cross-border railway in October after four years of work,
Pyongyang`s official news agency said on Monday.

From that month freight trains will start running between
Russia`s Far East city of Khasan and the port at Rason, the
North`s northeastern free trade zone, the agency cited a top
railway official as saying.

Work on repairing the 54-kilometre line began in October
2008.

It will connect to the Trans-Siberian Railway and help
boost economic cooperation and relations between the two
countries, the agency said.

The cross-border rail link is part of Russia`s efforts to
expand a foothold in the isolated nation. It is also building
a cargo terminal in the Rason zone, formerly known as Rajin
and Sonbong, which were two towns.

China has also been actively exploring investment
opportunities in Rason and plans to build a separate
cross-border rail link from Hunchun.

South Korea`s Yonhap news agency reported in February
that China had agreed to invest about USD 3 billion in
developing Rason as an export base.

The impoverished North is striving to revitalise its
economy through foreign investment in Rason, which was
declared a special economic zone in 1991 but failed to
flourish. (AFP)

PTI

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