December 07, 2023

South Korean rail chief says inter-Korean railway ‘transcends politics’

KORAIL’s Na Hee-seung sees big economic benefits to reconnecting rail lines when diplomacy with North Korea resumes

For decades before the Korean War, it was possible to travel from what is now South Korea to Europe by train. And for a brief period in 2018, the two Koreas made progress on re-opening that route for the first time since the division of the peninsula, with a South Korean delegation inspecting some 1,600 miles of North Korean railroads.

Yet while two Koreas’ leaders identified railway connections as a key area of cooperation at their summit in April 2018, there has been little progress on the inter-Korean railway project in the years since, as virtually all diplomacy between the two Koreas ceased after the U.S. and the DPRK failed to push forward a denuclearization deal.