(Reference picture) Train stopped due to a power failure. Poor facility maintenance is the biggest challenge for the railway. Photographed from the Chinese side by ISHIMARU Jiro, August 2002

◆Economy does not improve- despite talks

A South Korean delegation entered North Korea by road on July 20 in order to carry out joint inspections on a possible railway to connect the two countries. On April 27, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un declared the Panmunjom Declaration, which called for linking the two countries through railways and roads. To accomplish this, a basic inspection is now underway.

The North Korean people are also interested in connecting the North and South by rail. Our partner in northern part of the North said:

"Despite the various talks that have been held following the inter-Korean summit meeting, the government has not been able to improve the lives of ordinary people. There are a lot of people who think that the railway could be a good thing.”

Since the Panmunjom Declaration was made public through the North Korean state media, the North-South railway connection is not a "secret" issue. Therefore, people are aware that it is fine to talk about the issue in public places and so freely discuss the topic in markets and other public gatherings. Below is a summary of what our partner tells us is brought up in these public discussions.

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