South Korean train starts joint survey of North Korean railways

South Korea to send trains to North Korea in joint survey to connect railways separated since Korean War

South Korean soldiers close gate near the rails leading to North Korea, inside demilitarized zone.

"Related agencies plan to investigate him regarding the details of how he came to the South", the Joint Chiefs said in a message.

North Korea had entered into agreements with regional powers in 1994 and in 2005 to dismantle its nuclear program in return for economic benefits and diplomatic rewards, but those deals broke down after Pyongyang clandestinely continued to pursue building weapons of mass destruction.

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A train carrying South Korean engineers and officials crossed into the North on Friday to begin a landmark joint survey to reconnect railway tracks between the two Koreas. Despite the warming ties, it remains unclear whether the North's leader Kim Jong Un will make his first-ever visit to the South this year, as Seoul is hoping. "We will maintain close consultation with related nations so that the project to connect the South and North's railways could proceed with worldwide support".

In their most recent summit in Pyongyang in September, Kim and Moon committed to reviving economic co-operation when possible, voicing optimism that worldwide sanctions could end to allow such activity.

Over the 18-day inspection of the lines on the west and east coast (called the Gyeongui and Donghae lines, respectively, in South Korea), the train will travel a total of 2,600 kilometers.

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Buenos Aires - The President of the United States reaffirmed today his interest in holding a second summit with the North Korean leader, but agreed with the leaders of South Korea and Japan to keep the sanctions while Pyongyang does not advance in the denuclearization.

Twenty-eight South Korean officials including people from the unification, and land, infrastructure and transport ministries will inspect the 400-kilometer section from Gaeseong to Sinuiju through December 5. A freight train that ran from Dorasan Station in the South to Panmun Station in the North was stopped on November 28, 2008, after inter-Korean relations became strained.

The Kaesong factory park was shut down under the South's previous conservative government in February 2016 following a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.

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Sanctions enforced by the United Nations Security Council and the US prohibit sending fuel or conducting economic activities that could generate cash for Kim's regime. He added that the two Koreas would seek additional surveys later on if necessary.

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