Koreas’ Plan to Reconnect Road, Rail Links Held Up by Sanctions

Transportation Minister says US, UN sanctions forbid any construction on the projects

Earlier this year, North and South Korea agreed on a plan to reconnect a single road and rail link between the two nations as a first-step toward normalizing their border in a peace process.

The project was launched on Wednesday, after months of planning, and picking out the best routes. South Korea’s Transportation Minister, however, warns that no construction can actually began with US and UN sanctions in place.

Sanctions ban the importation of any construction material into North Korea, and also would forbid any investment in a project that would improve North Korea’s infrastructure. There is some momentum on easing sanctions at the UN, bt the US has ruled out any such moves until North Korea fully abandons nuclear weapons.

Surveys continue, and North Korean officials have indicated they intend to keep pushing for a start to construction. Both China and Russia are also endorsing the idea, though the US, as always, remains an obstacle.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.