President Stresses Connection of Two Koreas to Complete ‘Silk Road’
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President Stresses Connection of Two Koreas to Complete ‘Silk Road’
Chief Executive calls for the project in speech at AIIB meeting on Jeju Island as a message to North to solve reservations to proposal for inter-Korean dialogue

27(Tue), Jun, 2017

President Moon Jae-in delivers his congratulatory speech at the 2017 AIIB Annual Meeting at the Jeju International Convention Center on June 16. (Photo: Cheong Wa Dae)

President Moon Jae-in on May 10 said the Silk Road by land and sea will be completed when South and North Korea are connected by rail.

“The Korean peninsula is the last stop of Far East Asia but the reality is that the disconnected Gyeongui Line [which once traveled near the Chinese border] issue is still unresolved,” Moon said in a speech at the second annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB)’s Board of Governors at the Jeju International Convention Center on Jeju Island, which ran through May 12. “I really hope peace on the Korean peninsula will contribute to consolidation and the stability of all Asia.”

It was Moon’s first appearance on a global stage after taking office on May 10.

“I truly believe we can overcome various challenges that we face,” he said, “such as those of politics, national security, economics and the environment through cooperation and solidarity between Asian countries. This is why I have been communicating with a number of Asian leaders by phone and have dispatched ambassadors to places like the ASEAN, India and Australia.

Moon also spoke highly of AIIB’s performance and activities in the region.

“AIIB, which was officially launched last year, has done a lot even though it only has been operating about a year and a half,” Moon said. “The bank, which started with 57 members, now has 77 members, and has become a truly powerful international bank. I would like to thank the Chinese government, which led the launch of AIIB, and the bank’s president, Jin Liqun.”

The RailLog Korea 2017 took place at Bexco in Busan from June 14-17, the only exhibition on railroads and one of the four largest professional exhibitions in the world with 163 railroad related firms from 22 countries participating. The railroad exhibition hosted by the Korea Rolling Stock Industries Association and the Korea Railroad Association and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT), the Busan Metropolitan City, the Korea Railroad Corp. and the Korea Rail Network Authority as sponsors. It attracts some 650 buyers from all over the world, signing $3.2 billion worth of sales agreements with some 18,000 viewers at the global event.

Hyundai Rotem displayed its electric rail cars running on the Shatin Central Line in Hong Kong and the high-speed rail car EMU-250 at the event, while other companies, including LSIS, Hyundai Construction and SK Construction operated their own booths to display their own equipment and technologies.

MOLIT Minister Kang Ho-in was one of the dignitaries at the exhibition. Also present were President Hong Soon-man of the Korea Railroad Corp.; President Kang Young-il of the Korea Rail Network Authority; and Deputy Mayor Park Jae-min of the Busan Metropolitan City, among others. In the meantime, President Hong Soon-man of the Korea Railroad Corp. encouraged the members of the Korail’s team leaving for Tanzania to do their best when they work on the railroad project won by a consortium led by Korail worth 63 billion won in April this year.

The Tanzania Central Line Railroad Construction Project Management won by the consortium is related to a railroad linking the Dar Es Salaam, the nation’s capital and Mwanza, a distance of 1,219 km and the project will take some 42 months to complete. President Hong has been pushing Korail’s reform, including the fusion of railroad construction technology, IT business and the new rail technologies developed as the base. The efforts involve the entire management spectrum of Korail. 

Korail has also been engaged in a number of railroad service projects overseas since his arrival there. Korail has been working to secure the right to manage and maintain the Saudi Riyadh Metro Line valued at $20 billion, the largest such project in the world, while working on strengthening its role over Egyptian railroad operation. 

The railroad company has also been engaged in work to supply 100 rail cars to Myanmar and secure orders for rail cars and a project related to the development of a management system for railroads in the Philippines following its successful first and second advisory service projects on  the Manila No. 7 Metro Line.

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