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Two Koreas, Russia Consider Building Railway Training Center


FILE - Construction along railway lines linking tracks in Rason in far northeastern North Korea with Russian rail lines, Aug 20, 2012.

FILE - Construction along railway lines linking tracks in Rason in far northeastern North Korea with Russian rail lines, Aug 20, 2012.

South Korea’s national railroad operator, Korail, says it has suggested setting up a tri-national training center that would include North Korea and Russia.

In a phone interview with the VOA Korean service Monday, Korail spokeswoman Im In-sook said company President Choi Yeon-hye suggested establishing such an agency during her visit to North Korea in April.

Choi was visiting Pyongyang to attend an international railway conference.

The Korail spokesman said the North initially wanted to discuss the matter on the final day of the conference, but the meeting got delayed at the last minute.

Korail says it plans to suggest the idea again next month.

The goal of the training center would be to pass down South Korea’s railway operating expertise to and stimulate exchanges with North Korea and Russia.

Earlier this year, Russian Railways announced the testing of freight traffic on the re-opened link of the Trans-Siberian Railway from western Siberia to the port of Rason in North Korea.

Korail employees believe a three-way training center is essential to operating a railway that connects the two Koreas and Russia because the standardization of related technology and terminology is crucial.

Korail views the training center as a catapult for cooperation between the two Koreas’ railway systems.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Korean service.

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