South Korea longs for a train to Europe
A North Korean train arrives in May 2007 at the Jejin railway station in Goseong, northeast of Seoul near the demilitarized zone separating North and South Korea.
canada goose coats on sale Apart from a few never used metal detectors, the spotless station lies completely empty. The timetable is blank, the ticket offices are closed. Indeed, only one passenger train has ever arrived at Jejin station: It came from North Korea in 2007. canada goose coats on sale
It is hard to imagine now that this mothballed, remote station could one day play a significant role in South Korea’s political and economic future, but South Korean officials are holding out hope that it will and what is more, that this station could help open up North Korea, too.
cheap Canada Goose Kim Jung ja, a 60 year old real estate agent in a nearby town, said that property prices had jumped in anticipation of a reopened railroad connection to the North.”Could there be a train canada goose coats to Russia from here?” she wondered aloud. cheap Canada Goose
There’s a buy canada goose jacket cheap catch, Canada Goose Coats On Sale however. For South Korea to actually reconnect its rail network to North Korea, it will first have to convince the United States to reconsider the “maximum pressure” policy toward Pyongyang. And almost two months after President Trump met North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in Singapore, that seems unlikely anytime soon.
During their buy canada goose jacket meeting in the peninsula’s demilitarized zone in late April, South Korean President Moon Jae in handed Canada Goose Outlet Kim a USB stick containing detailed plans for an inter Korean rail network. The two Korean leaders agreed to http://www.mycanadagoosejacket.org work toward reconnecting their rail network, built under Imperial Japan at the turn of the 20th canada goose outlet century, then severed during the Korean War in the 1950s.
Since 2007, no train has used Jejin railway station in Goseong, South Korea. (Min Joo Kim/The Washington Post)
canada goose clearance sale But although Seoul wants to move full steam ahead into the plan, with engineers already heading north of the border to inspect the tracks and plans being made to canada goose clearance sale finally connect Jejin to other stations in South Korea, the South’s diplomatic partners in Washington are not yet on board. canada goose clearance sale
canada goose “We cannot go further,” said Moon Chung in, an influential adviser to the South Korean president. “Why? Because of the sanctions regime.” canada goose
canada goose coats There is growing frustration that a slow pace canada goose uk black friday on sanctions could dash renewed hopes for a connection. canada goose coats
buy canada goose jacket cheap “It’s so stressful that the United States is so controlling,” saidSong Young gil, a South Korean politician who recently inspected North Korea’s railways for the president’s office. buy canada goose jacket cheap
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For many South Koreans, the prospect of Canada Goose Parka reconnecting the rail link to North Korea is one of uk canada goose outlet the most evocative, even romantic, aspects of the Korean detente. It represents not only a step toward eventual reunification of North and South but also a correction to the cruel 20th century history Canada Goose Online that made their nation an”island” without an open land border.
canadian goose jacket Much attention has been focused on a west coast line between Seoul and Pyongyang. In Canada Goose sale the DMZ not far from Seoul, another station that opened in 2007 is now a tourist attraction where visitors can buy”tickets” and look at part of the Berlin Wall. canadian goose jacket
Canada Goose sale But while a west coast railroad would connect political capitals, an east coast line through Jejin would be important for two key areas of Moon’s plans for cooperation with North Korea: trade and tourism. Canada Goose sale
Canada Goose Jackets Following existing tracks, this line would start at Busan, South Korea’s second largest city and one of the world’s busiest seaports. Train service would run through Jejin and on into North Korea, passing canadian goose jacket through the Mount Kumgang tourist zone and then Wonsan, a weapons industry hub converted into a beach resort. The service would continue to Hamhung, an industrial city and the second largest in North Korea. Canada Goose Jackets
canada goose deals Eventually, it would reach Rason, an ice free seaport close to North Korean cheap canada goose uk natural resources. Canada Goose Jackets From there, travelers would go on to Canada Goose online the Russian border, where there are links to the Russian canada goose uk outlet seaport of Vladivostok and beyond. In theory, a train could continue to Europe on what’s been dubbed the”Iron Silk Railroad.” canada goose deals
South Korean experts believe that this trade and tourism could help open up North Korea politically. At the same time, there is hope that such a connection could boost South Korea’s struggling economy and bring canada goose black friday sale more business to the port of Busan.
canada goose black friday sale Na Hee seung, the president of the Korea Railroad Research Institute, said that using container ships to send goods from Busan to Europe takes far too long for high end goods. Freight rail would cost more but would take half the time, he said. canada goose black friday sale
A railroad could also solidify relationships with neighbors, particularly Russia. Artyom Lukin, a political scientist at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, said Russia has long seen canada goose factory sale an inter Korean connection to the Trans Siberian Railway as a way of extending its influence in the Far East.”Russia expects to rake in profits,” he said.
Off the tracks
Canada Goose Outlet But not all are convinced. Anton Vorobyev, an independent canada goose consultant who works with Russians living canada goose store in Busan, said that discussions about an inter Korean railway have been going on for years but that the “project does not go further than talking.” Canada Goose Outlet
canada goose store Certainly, it has been a cheap Canada Goose long and painful process. canada goose store
Canada Goose online But things soured quickly. In 2008, a North Korean soldier fatally shot a South Korean tourist who wandered into a restricted area in the Mount Kumgang resort, and the train service was shut down. Jejin station never received any passengers other than from that one test run in 2007. Canada Goose online
Given the large financial cost involved, restarting plans to reconnect the rail service is risky. A complete renovation of North Korea’s railways could easily run into billions of dollars, with much of the cost borne by South Korea.
buy canada goose jacket Ahn Byung min, a South Korean railway expert canada goose uk shop who advises Moon’s government, said he had not seen any improvements in North Korea’s trains in more than 40 visits since 2000. “I’d say it’s got worse,” he said. Some of his travel was on trains that reminded him of the runaway mine cart in uk canada goose the film”Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” he said buy canada goose jacket.