According to the related ministries on Wednesday,
the South Korean government proposed the border area of the North, including Panmun Station, as the venue within the groundbreaking ceremony proposed to the North. The North Korean government proposed the area in order to save the fact that the modernization of railways and roads in the North is the core of the project.
"Hyundaiization actually means modernizing the North's railways and roads, so the groundbreaking ceremony does not make any sense in the South," a government official said. "Considering the accessibility, the border area of the North was considered, but the Panmunjeom was excluded, not in the area where the railroad passed."
It is said that Panmun Station, a border area that is physically accessible to both South and North Korea, and that meets the conditions of railroad passing, is the most suitable place. Panmun Station is the first station in the North to be next to Dorasan Station in the South from Gyeongui Line.
For the Gyeongeui Line is the border between China and the donghae a miniscule compared to the inter-Korean relations, access when they gather to break ground. In addition, a freight train carrying materials from December 2007 to November 2008 ran between Dorasan Station and Panmun Station, meaning that the railway connection between the two Koreas, which was broken 10 years ago, will be reopened.
In addition, the two sides reportedly had no differences in pushing for the plan to maintain the agreement between the two Koreas by the end of December. The two Koreas agreed to hold a groundbreaking ceremony at the Pyongyang Joint Declaration in September this year.
It has been reported that the two Koreas exchanged such opinions under the table through various opportunities of contact, including a local investigation of railways, at official working-level meetings on Wednesday.
Now, the remaining variable to clarify the groundbreaking ceremony is the consultations with the U.S. on sanctions against North Korea. Since the groundbreaking ceremony will be held in the North, the U.S. needs to consult with the U.S. on the materials that are brought into the area.
The government originally interpreted the investigation as not subject to sanctions. However, as the U.S. reportedly demanded stronger compliance with the sanctions, it was not until late last month that the U.S. turned around to receive an official exemption from sanctions from the international community.
The government is said to have to block the possibility of the problem through cooperation with the U.S. such as the train running directly over the Military Demarcation Line to the North, even if it is just a groundbreaking ceremony, rather than actually starting construction.
In this regard, the second meeting of the working group, which is expected to be held in Seoul this month, is expected to be discussed with the U.S. on the issue of a groundbreaking ceremony. If the U.S. confirms that there are no differences, the construction method will also be finalized.
100 South and North Korean participants will also be made specific soon. Other participants include Unification Minister Cho Myung-kyun, Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mi, and Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon in consideration of the symbolic meaning of the groundbreaking ceremony in inter-Korean economic cooperation.