Korea Chiefs to Launch Border-Busting Railway

Freight link to strengthen economic ties
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 16, 2007 2:10 AM CST
North Korean Premier Kim Yong Il, center left, signs on a joint declaration documents with his South Korean counterpart Han Duck-soo, center right, during their meeting at a hotel in Seoul, South Korea,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – In their latest step toward closer ties, the leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to establish a cross-border train system to strengthen economic connections. Beginning in December freight trains will follow a 16-mile track through the heavily patrolled border frontier to a joint industrial complex in North Korea's Kaesong. Two dozen South Korean companies employ some 20,000 North Koreans in the factory complex.

The North also agreed to allow South Koreans in Kaesong to use the internet and cell phones, privileges not permitted to most northern citizens. South Korea also committed to building shipyards and to repairing a major highway and railroad in the north. In addition, both sides agreed to establish shared fishing rights.