A Chinese professor is attracting attention by reportedly raising some questions about the long-discussed railroad project to link South Korea via North Korea to Europe.
In an interview with China’s state-run Global Times on November 28, Zhou Yongsheng, professor of the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, urged Seoul, Pyongyang, and Moscow to allow Beijing to join the project.
“Even if North Korea is reluctant to join the project, the railway line seems to be conducive to all parties concerned,” Zhou said, adding, “However, it is unlikely to succeed without the participation of China.”
He went on to say, “Since neither Russia's Far East region nor the two Koreas have sufficient demand for imports and exports, a smart choice is to get the heavily populated China to be involved in the project.”
The project to connect the Trans-Siberian Railway (TSR) with the Trans-Korean Railway (TKR) has been under discussion for more than a decade, owing to geographical obstacles and North Korea’s nuclear and missile ambitions.
Earlier this month, South Korean President Park Geun-hye and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a summit meeting in Seoul during which they signed a memorandum of understanding that opened the door for South Korean companies to join in the Rajin-Khasan development project in North Korea, which would be linked to the “Express Silk Road” Park named.