Thursday, May 17, 2007

First trains cross Korean Cold War border since 1951

Two trains from North and South Korea crossed the heavily armed border today, restoring for the first time an artery severed in the 1950-1953 fratricidal war and fanning dreams of unification.

The trains carried 100 South Koreans and 50 North Koreans.

It took the two Koreas 56 years to send the trains -- one starting in the South and one in the North -- across the Cold War's last frontier for the runs of about 25 km (15 miles).

The two Koreas, still technically still at war because their conflict ended only in a truce, have lived with a razor wire and land-mine strewn border dividing the peninsula for decades and over a million troops are stationed near the countries' demilitarized buffer zone.

To entice the North to allow the crossing, South Korea has offered some $80 million in aid for its light industries.


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