Two Koreas Set for Cross-Border Train Test Run
The two Koreas hold ceremonies Thursday at Munsan Station in the South and Mt. Kumgang Station in the North before launching trial runs of cross-border trains. For the first time in half a century, trains will cross the Demilitarized Zone on the Gyeongui and Donghae lines, one headed for Kaesong in the North and the other for Jejin in the South.
It has been 56 years since June 12, 1951 that trains have crossed the DMZ on the Gyeongui Line and 57 years since 1950 on the Donghae Line. The test-runs will be conducted on a 27.3 km-long section of the Gyeongui Line between Munsan and Kaesong; and on a 25.5 km section on the Donghae Line between Mt. Kumgang and Jejin. Each train will carry 100 South Korean and 50 North Korean passengers. Aboard the Gyeongui train will be Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung and Kwon Ho-ung, a senior North Korean Cabinet councilor. Aboard the Donghae train will be Construction and Transportation Minister Lee Yong-sup and North Korea's Railway Minister Kim Yong-sam.
A ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Thursday opens the Gyeongui Line at Munsan Station. The South Korean train leaves at 11:30 a.m., crosses the DMZ around 12:10 p.m., and arrives at Kaesong at 1 p.m. South and North Korean officials will have lunch together at the Janamsan Inn in Kaesong. The train is to leave Kaesong at 2:40 p.m. and arrive at Munsan at 4:10 p.m. A similar joint ceremony will open the Donghae Line at Mt. Kumgang, where a North Korean train will travel to Jejin and back.