UN grants South Korea sanctions exemption for inter-Korea rail survey
The United Nations Security Council has granted sanctions exemptions to South Korea for a joint survey with the North for the construction of inter-Korean railways.
“The sanctions exemption has big implications given that the project has garnered recognition and support from the United States and the international society,” South Korea’s presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said Saturday.
The waiver is the first step towards reconnecting rail and road links with the North that was cut during the 1950-53 Korean War.
Kim further expressed optimism about quick construction of the railways, which he said will take inter-Korean cooperation to a new level.
With Pyongyang under extensive Security Council sanctions for its missile and nuclear programs, Seoul requested an exemption for deliveries of fuel and other equipment needed to conduct the railway survey in the North, South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
The US has told its key ally in Seoul that it should not improve relations with Pyongyang faster than North Korea taking steps to abandon its nuclear weapons.
Leaders of the two Koreas reached consensus in April to adopt practical measures to reconnect railways and roads as part of their efforts to expand bilateral ties.
The two Koreas agreed in October to carry out the joint field studies on transport plans, with a ground-breaking ceremony arranged for late November and early December.