North Korean border (via Flickr)
South Korea and its Northern neighbour have reached an agreement over enabling the first train to cross the heavily armed border between the antagonistic brothers for half a century. The rails have already been linked together again.
This is the good news – but a Korean Perestroika surely looks different than today’s agreement – which was reached after 30 hours of marathon negotiations which had begun years ago. After this test train, which will cross next Tuesday, it will probably take a long time until the next one will go – not even speaking of passenger trains. As the North resists a regular train running between the countries, South Korea sees the route as important. They could not only import goods made by cheap North Korean labourers, but fulfill their dream of one day being connected to the Trans-Siberian railway, which runs from China through to Europe.
But it is very likely North Korean leader Kim Jong Il may open a bottle of champagne, as his foreign minister signed a deal with Iran today, too. In the contract, both countries (known by hawks as part of the “axis of evil”) agreed to tighten relationships.