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DPRK one bridge with Russia a little
Why should the two countries develop a road transport service across the border
The railway transition between Russia and North Korea, in the Soviet era called the "Friendship Bridge", can be combined with the road. An appropriate working group has been established under the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, but the prospect of resolving this issue will probably depend on the development of relations between the north and south of the Korean peninsula. EastRussia figured out whether the DPRK really needed another way of transporting goods across the border.
The North Korean side proposes to erect across the border river Tumannaya, where the railway bridge of Friendship is operated (the length is about 1 km), another transition is automobile. There is an alternative. It assumes the modernization of the railway crossing (the object was built in 1950 and it has not been reconstructed since that moment), which will make the construction combined with car travel.
"The Government of Russia instructed the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation to work out the issue of creating such a bridge crossing. A working group has already been set up, which should work out a solution. The construction of the bridge is a useful undertaking in our relations, "said Alexander Galushka.
It should be noted that the Far Eastern Railway successfully exploits large automobile-railway bridges near Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. Next is the appearance of similar structures at border checkpoints. In particular, the bridge between Blagoveshchensk and the Chinese city of Heihe is now being built by road, but in the long term it is thought to be combined with a railway one.
The feasibility of creating an additional bridge should be supported by a cargo base. The head of Minvostokrazvitiya asked the North Korean side to provide the working group of the Ministry of Transport with the forecast data on the loading of this direction as soon as possible. In turn, at the first stage, Russia proposes to organize for the movement of motor vehicles across the river the Misty Pontoon Crossing. Pig-iron transport through the railway crossing is also possible.
The Friendship Bridge provides both a passenger traffic (here the Ussuriisk-Tumangan train runs, which includes the non-stop cars on the route Moscow-Pyongyang), and cargo. The maximum volume of cargo transportation with North Korea through this checkpoint was fixed in 1986 year, when in both directions about 4,8 million tons of cargo passed. After the restructuring, commodity exchange between the countries went to a decline, and the flow of goods through the railway border crossing actually fell to zero. The movement intensified in 2014 year after JSC Russian Railways reconstructed the North Korean section of the road from Tumangan station to the port of Rajin and built the last transshipment terminal operated by JV RassonConTrans. In 2017, about 2,5 million tons of cargo were transported through the Friendship Bridge. The basis of the cargo flow is Russian coal, which is transported to Rajin, and from there by sea to China.
The trade turnover between the Russian Federation and the DPRK may increase due to agricultural products, consumer goods, construction materials (within the framework of the visit to Pyongyang, Alexander Galushka, the proposal to create a "Trade House" of North Korean products in one of the regions of the Russian Far East is voiced), but the diversification of transportation depends on political situation on the Korean peninsula. Although, notes Alexander Galushka, the railway communication Hasan-Rajin has great prospects. "During my talks with the chairman of the committee for the promotion of northern economic cooperation under the President of the Republic of Korea, Son Yong Gil, in early March in Vladivostok, the South Korean side said that it is actively studying the possibility of joining the project and its desire to translate it into a trilateral format," said Alexander Galushka.
"Limits (the shipping business with North Korea - EastRussia) only political decisions. Under the sanctions, not all can work, there are customers who make contacts, but quotas for transportation are limited, "say one of the companies involved in the delivery of goods to the DPRK.
The Russian side still hopes for a warming of relations between North and South Korea. "Russia welcomes the positive trends in the development of the situation on the Korean peninsula. We are glad that the Chairman of the State Council of the DPRK Kim Jong Un publicly outlined the course of the republic for the resumption of contacts with the South, "said Alexander Galushka.