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At South Korea's northernmost train station, the tracks stop abruptly ahead of the demilitarised zone that marks the North Korean border. A sign reads: "The steel horse wants to run."
That may soon become a reality as US President Donald Trump and North Korea's Kim Jong Un prepare for a second summit this coming week in Vietnam. The outcome is expected to include some easing of sanctions in return for steps towards denuclearisation and a rail link first mooted more than 15 years ago is one of several key inter-Korean projects that might finally get approved.
In a phone call with Trump a few days ago, President Moon Jae-in said South Korea was ready to move forward with the rail link and other unspecified economic projects if it helped the negotiations. The talks may also include opening the Gaeseong inter-Korean industrial complex, where more than 120 of the nation's companies were operating before it was closed in 2016 amid rising tensions.
This article first appeared on www.afr.com
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