North Korea and Russia held ministerial-level talks on railway construction October 29-November 2 in Pyongyang, said the South Korean ministry of unification Wednesday (Nov. 13).
At the conclusion of the talks, the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the modernization of the North Korea-Russia East Coast Railway, pledging mutual cooperation in the construction of railways in North Korea's east coast and indicating support for a three-way conference among North Korea, Russia and South Korea.
In addition to signing the memorandum, the two parties reviewed the outcome of the October 23-28 North Korea-Russia Railway Committee conference, agreed that the North would endeavor to build the Trans-Korean Railway (TKR), and discussed ways to modernize the railway systems in the North. Russia stressed that it would support the TKR project and other projects to modernize railroad systems in the North.
Issues concerning the TKR and the Trans-Siberia Railway (TSR) systems have been on the top agenda of the two countries since August 2001, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Russian President Vladmir Putin held a summit. The two leaders reaffirmed their support for the efforts to connect TKR and TSR during their second summit, held in August this year.