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2 Sep, 2021 14:41

‘Artery of friendship’: Seoul proposes extending legendary Trans-Siberian railway from Vladivostok through to North & South Korea

‘Artery of friendship’: Seoul proposes extending legendary Trans-Siberian railway from Vladivostok through to North & South Korea

The Trans-Siberian railway could be an artery of friendship and economic partnership for North and South Korea, Seoul's Unification Minister said on Thursday during the Eastern Economic Forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok.

Speaking remotely to Forum guests, Lee In-young called for improvement in transport connections between the two Koreas, expressing hope that a train from the South Korean port city of Busan could "pass through North Korean territory, get to Vladivostok and move on to various routes that may have tourist value."

If this comes to pass, the Trans-Siberian Railway will turn into an "artery of friendship" to enable the development of "peace and cooperation on the Korean Peninsula," he said.

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"It is our dream that, together with North Korea and Russia, we can cooperate for peace and progress," the minister concluded.

Due to their close proximity, Moscow has healthy relations with both Seoul and Pyongyang. Russia has repeatedly expressed its wish to see North and South Korea improve their relationship. Last month, Georgiy Zinoviev, the department director for Asia at the Russian Foreign Ministry, noted that Moscow was happy with how relations between the two Koreas were progressing.

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"Russia has always been working on improvement of the situation on the Korean Peninsula," he said. "We keep working constantly, and we are glad that now, thanks to the initiatives of both halves of the Korean Peninsula, a positive dynamic in relations between them is appearing."

At the Eastern Economic Forum, Lee In-young also noted that 300,000 South Koreans visited Russia in 2019. Young Koreans are becoming increasingly interested in tourism to the world's largest country, he said.

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