Seoul earmarks over $260mn for rail, roads in N. Korea

South Korea has earmarked more than US$260 million to build new railways and roads in the North, according to officials. The move is part of Seoul’s cross-border projects launched despite international sanctions on Pyongyang, AFP said. South Korean President Moon Jae-in offered to help upgrade the North’s outdated rail and road infrastructure and connect it with the South’s during meetings this year with the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un. Seoul plans to spend about 295.1 billion won (US$264 million) on the schemes next year, an official at Seoul’s Unification Ministry said on Thursday. Some 186.4 billion won will be given freely and 108.7 billion won in loans. “We will continue efforts, including policy coordination with the US, to carry out the projects agreed between the two Koreas without a hitch,” the official said. The figure comes as Seoul and Washington follow increasingly divergent approaches to Pyongyang.