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Rajin is waiting for the lifting of sanctions

Will the relations between the north and south of Korea become warmer, understood at the WEF

Railway transportation on the site Hassan-Rajin (DPRK), suspended due to sanctions against Pyongyang, may resume until the end of this year. The South Korean side is interested in this project, but is waiting in turn for North Korea to take active actions to denuclearize the region.

Rajin is waiting for the lifting of sanctions
The confidence in the resumption of transportation along the Khasan-Rajin line was expressed by Ivan Tonkikh, General Director of Russo-North Korean JV RasonConTrans (operating this section of the railway and 3 pier in the port of Rajin). "We plan that this year we will resume transshipment of Russian coal to third countries. We see good prospects, we support the infrastructure in full readiness, working capacity. The South Korean side once again showed interest in our project, 13-14 July our delegation from South Korea visited us. Russian Railways is actively supporting the negotiation process, "Ivan Tonkikh said, adding that a regular South Korean delegation is expected to arrive in Rajin soon - representatives of the business mission.

The throughput capacity of the Hasan-Rajin site, once reconstructed at the expense of Russian Railways, is 5 million tons of cargo annually. In total, with 2013 for 2017 years, 4,8 million tons of Russian coal were shipped to the North Korean port. Only for incomplete last year transshipment was slightly more than 2 million tons.

As you know, the transportation of Russian coal through the North Korean port was stopped from October 2017. Despite the special exceptions foreseen for him, as well as the Hasan-Rajin section of the UN Security Council resolutions, the South Korean side imposed sanctions on the organization of sales of fuel, following in this direction, as a result, Russian exporters were forced to abandon this supply channel. 

At the same time, the situation in relations between the North and South of Korea is gradually changing, was noted at a special plenary session of the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum. According to Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov, since the beginning of the year the DPRK has introduced a moratorium on missile and nuclear tests, and has begun negotiations with Seoul and Washington. "We urge our South Korean partners to remove unilateral sanctions (from the Hasan-Rajin-EastRussia site)," Igor Morgulov said.

Seung Yong Gil, member of the National Assembly of the Republic of Korea, chairman of the Special Committee for Peace and Cooperation in Northeast Asia of the Democratic Party Tobor, expressed hope for the resumption of traffic on the Hasan-Rajin site. It is not ruled out that the outcome of the meeting between the governments of North and South Korea, which is planned for 18 September in Pyongyang, will affect the positive decision of the issue.

Seoul, in turn, expects from its neighbors active actions to denuclearize the region, said Vice President Korea Maritime Universit (Busan), Lee Song W. And the economic effect of the project Hassan-Rajin (the route can also be used to deliver agricultural products, containers, passenger transportation ) will promote the rapprochement of neighboring countries.

The big return from the work of the Hasan-Rajin site, which is a pilot project for connecting the infrastructure of neighboring states, is expected in North Korea itself. "The unification of the North Korean roads with the Trans-Siberian Railway is one of the key issues that are in the development strategy of our country," said Kim Young-hek, Deputy Minister of Railways of the DPRK.   

First Deputy General Director of JSC Russian Railways Alexander Misharin specified that last year transit shipments from the Republic of Korea via the Transsib increased by 30% and reached 100 thousand containers. This year's growth was 32%. This correlates with the estimates of Korea Maritime Universit: in the first half of the year 2018, the trade turnover between Russia and the Republic of Korea totaled $ 14,07 billion, an increase of 2017% over the same period of 29,3.

According to Alexander Misharin, South Korean containers could go directly to the Trans-Siberian through the Korean peninsula, without a sea section of the route. He suggested, as part of joint research, to carry out a test shipment of cargo from Seoul through the territory of the DPRK to Russia to show how attractive the transcontinental land corridor might be.
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