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Moon rides S. Korea's brand-new low-carbon bullet train

The EMU-260 bullet train developed by South Korea (Yonhap)
The EMU-260 bullet train developed by South Korea (Yonhap)
President Moon Jae-in took a trial ride in South Korea's landmark bullet train, designed to cut carbon emissions, on Monday in his first on-site activity of the new year.

He traveled between two local cities -- Wonju in Gangwon Province and Jecheon in North Chungcheong Province -- on the EMU-260 train a day before it is to be put into public service. EMU stands for electric multiple unit, and 260 is its running speed in kilometers per hour.

Named the KTX-Eum, it is the first EMU train developed by South Korea. Consisting of self-propelled carriages using electricity as the motive power, it does not need a separate locomotive. Eum means link in Korean.

Its carbon dioxide emissions amount to around 15 percent of ordinary cars and 70 percent of diesel-powered locomotives, according to Cheong Wa Dae.

South Korea plans to replace all of its passenger trains with low-carbon and environment-friendly ones by 2029. It would enable the country to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 165,000 tons in the target year from 235,000 tons in 2019. It is expected to bring about an effect equivalent to planting 10.6 million trees, Cheong Wa Dae added.

The KTX-Eum is also equipped with the fourth-generation wireless broadband communication network called LTE-R.

Moon's office noted that the launch of the high-tech train service comes as his administration is pushing for the so-called Korean-version New Deal. It aims to foster the nation's future growth by promoting digital innovation, green industries and balanced regional development.

South Korea is the world's fifth nation to produce a high-speed train with its own technology. (Yonhap)