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N. Korea, Russia to open railway in October: report

North Korea and Russia will reopen a cross-border railway in October after four years of work, Pyongyang's official news agency said Monday.

Monday 2 April 2012, 03:44PM

From that month freight trains will start running between Russia's Far East city of Khasan and the port at Rason, the North's northeastern free trade zone, the agency cited a top railway official as saying.

Work on repairing the 54-kilometre (32-mile) line began in October 2008.

It will connect to the Trans-Siberian Railway and help boost economic cooperation and relations between the two countries, the agency said.

The cross-border rail link is part of Russia's efforts to expand a foothold in the isolated nation. It is also building a cargo terminal in the Rason zone, formerly known as Rajin and Sonbong, which were two towns.

China has also been actively exploring investment opportunities in Rason and plans to build a separate cross-border rail link from Hunchun.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported in February that China had agreed to invest about $3 billion in developing Rason as an export base.

The impoverished North is striving to revitalise its economy through foreign investment in Rason, which was declared a special economic zone in 1991 but failed to flourish.




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