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S. Korea seeks to launch joint railway inspections with NK next month

South Korea will seek to launch joint on-site inspections of cross-border railways with North Korea next month as part of efforts to reconnect the railways, as called for in last week's inter-Korean summit agreement, the presidential spokesman said Friday.

The decision was made at a meeting of the committee formed to discuss measures to carry out the Pyongyang Declaration reached in the third summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang last week.

The agreement calls for breaking ground before the end of the year toward reconnecting two sets of cross-border roads and railways. One of them, called the Seohae Line, runs through the western section of the border and the other, called the Donghae Line, runs through the eastern section.

South and North Korean officials inspect the North Korean side of the Gyeongui Line on July 24. (Yonhap)
South and North Korean officials inspect the North Korean side of the Gyeongui Line on July 24. (Yonhap)

"If we are going to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the Donghae and Seohae lines of roads and railways, we have to begin on-site inspections sometime next month," presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said. "We will hold discussions with the United Nations Command about the South and the North conducting joint inspections."

The summit agreement also calls for the two Koreas to work together to co-host the 2032 Summer Olympics, and the committee decided to put forward the issue as an official agenda item of the International Olympic Committee, the spokesman said.

Kim said the South will also discuss with the North ways to form unified teams not only for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but also for its preliminary events.

In addition, the committee decided to hold talks about the North loaning cultural relics to the South for exhibition at the National Museum of Korea and to seek to hold Red Cross talks next month to flesh out the details of the summit agreement to open a reunion center for families separated across the border and hold video reunion events, Kim said. (Yonhap)

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