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Moon says new southeastern railroads can play part in East Asia railway bloc

According to Yonhap News,

(SEOUL=Yonhap News) President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday a set of new railroads, poised to open in the country's southeastern region, can play a key role in an East Asia railway bloc that extends to Europe.

Moon made the remarks during a launching ceremony of a railway network connecting major cities in North Gyeongsang and South Gyeongsang provinces. Under the plan, four railroads will run over a stretch of 142.2 kilometers linking Daegu, Yeongcheon, Gyeongju, Ulsan and Busan.

"If we can connect the southeastern region through a traffic network and make a single economic bloc, there would be a mega city of 10 million population and the economic market of 490 trillion won," Moon said during the ceremony at Taehwa River Station in Ulsan, some 410 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

"For a bigger dream, southeastern railroads could be a starting point for continental railways in the future," he said.

Connecting railways across East Asia is an element of the Korean Peninsula peace process initiative that Moon unveiled in 2018. The project aims to connect railways between South and North Korea and extend the inter-Korean railway to China, Mongolia and ultimately to Europe.

Moon also said he anticipates balanced national development and enhanced regional cooperation through a metro operation between Ulsan and Busan, the first metropolitan train service outside the capital area.

"This comes after a nearly half century since the opening of metro service in the capital area in 1974," he said. "The southeastern region would be a one-hour metropolitan living circle," he said.

Moon stressed that success of balanced national development and regional cooperation depends on the metropolitan traffic network and vowed that the government will also pursue similar railroad projects in other regions.

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Source: Yonhap News (December 28, 2021)