A South Korean research team that inspected the North's Gyeongui line section for the inter-Korean railway connection project is scheduled to return home on Wednesday. A concrete outline of the poor railway situation in North Korea is expected to be revealed.
The North Korean Railroad Act places high importance on the value of the railway by stating in the first chapter that it is the artery of the country and a pre-conceived hall for the people's economy, and that it is a noble vestige of the revolution that was won through the struggle.
However, industry experts say that North Korea's railway facilities in general are very poor. Experts say that large-scale investment is necessary in order for the railway cooperation project to take place.
Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mi told the National Assembly's special committee on inter-Korean economic cooperation on June 23 that the railway situation in North Korea is very serious, adding that North Korea needs to be repaired since it was established during the Japanese colonial era. "The route will be about 50 kilometers per hour after the launch, and the speed will be 20 kilometers per hour from Gaeseong to Pyongyang," he added. "A lot of capital and technology will have to be invested."
"The overall aging of facilities leads to facial expressions, reduction of regularity, frequent derailments, and lack of power supply, which are seriously limiting normal operation," said Seo Jong-won, head of the North Korean Infrastructure Research Center at the Korea Transportation Institute.
Earlier, Kim Jong Un, the Secretary of State of North Korea last April, Moon Jae-in conversation with the president and North Korea's “a defect when you come to our traffic to North Korea is disturbed because you like.” in her seat.The train even clean about their situation to some eye-catching. 안전놀이터
In his report, "North Korea's Railway Construction, 1900-2015: Industrialization and the Long-Term Economic Crisis," Professor Kim Doo-reun of Myongji University pointed out that the North Korean authorities have made little investment in the railroad sector since 1945 and that the facility is seriously dilapidated. He also explained four hypotheses that explain the cause of the stalled railway project in North Korea.
First of all, there is a hypothesis that the North did not actually need the construction of the railroad. They said that there was no need to build additional routes because most railroads were built in major sections before liberation.
"South Korea, which had similar economic power as North Korea in the 1970s, was actively constructing railways," Kim said. "It is not true that North Korea had enough rail networks to meet economic growth."
There is also a hypothesis that the North Korean authority tried to build a medium- and long-range transportation network instead of a railway. They say that because they focused on expanding transportation networks such as highways, cars, and air transport, railway investment has been pushed to the back burner.
Professor Kim explains, however, that North Korean authorities are still building a transportation system centered on railways. In fact, statistics show that railways played an overwhelming role in 90 percent of North Korean cargo transport and 70 percent of passenger transport between 1945 and 1990.
There is also a hypothesis that North Korea did not have the resources to carry out the construction of the railroad extensively in the past. However, North Korea received considerable aid from the Soviet Union and China after the Korean War. Therefore, it is more appropriate to assume that the funds possessed were used to focus on other areas, rather than lack of funds.
Professor Kim also emphasized the possibility that the North ignored the construction of the railroad because it lacked understanding of the economic growth of modern times, or if so, it was different from the socialist economic development.
"In general, North Korean authorities have sought to establish an effective economic system to survive war or external isolation rather than economic growth in the modern sense," Professor Kim said. "It is believed that strengthening political control and controlling cross-regional goods and population movements led to passive investment in railways."
"In the end, North Korea's passive railway investment was the result of putting priority on its political purpose of survival and continuation of the system," he said. "This was the cause and result of the North Korean economy's prolonged economic slump without taking the path to modern economic growth."
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