The delegation held the bilateral meetings with Russian party and with the representatives of the DPRK at the site of the RasonConTrans Joint-Venture Company.
“This is the first case of debating on tripartite cooperation in such a format: when three concerned countries had met at one site. Russian party was able to negotiate the development of the project with the delegates of the Republic of Korea alongside the officials of the DPRK. The two meetings were a success. Now the partners from the DPRK disposed themselves for negotiating the project in a both-Koreas format in terms of tripartite negotiation,” - as Mr. Ivan Tonkikh, the general director of the RasonConTrans Joint-Venture Company, clarified.
The Head of the RasonConTrans JVC particularly stressed, that the visit of the South Korean delegation to the port of Rason became the first step boosting to the tripartite cooperation after the inter-Korean summit of April, 27 and after the negotiation between the two presidents – Mr. Moon Jae-in (RK) and Mr.Vladimir Putin (RF) at the end of June 2018.
“The two Koreas affirmed their intention to cooperate in various railway projects including one co-utilizing the Khasan-Rajin Railway. At the negotiation in Moscow the Korean party came to conclusion that Russia intended to interact in developing the Rajin-Khasan Railway Project. So all pre-conditions for the revival of the project implementation were set”, - Mr. I. Tonkikh specified.The South Korean delegates examined the infrastructure of the port of Rajin, the berth equipment, the railway track to the port etc. The management of RasonConTrans JVC arranged a presentation of the project and gave arguments for the competitive advantages of the port over the acting coal terminals in the Far East Region by providing the information on the port’s services and available utilization of the Khasan-Rajin railway line. The pieces of apparatus in the port, railroad bond, custom control regulations and bound railway premises became a subject of a special demonstration.
«We invited the South Korean companies to negotiate the variants of cooperation in the coal logistic project. The Russian party enounced its position towards the necessity of withdrawing the project from the unilateral sanctions imposed by the Republic of Korea against the DPRK. The point at issue is that the Republic of Korea should stop banning the ships from Rajin, transiting the Russian-original coal to the South Korean ports, until the end of the year. Formally, the moratorium on the sanctions will be a forceful signal from the RK to the DPKR of readiness to take part in the tripartite projects. After that, it will be possible to start testing the coal transfer canal from Russia to the Republic of Korea through the DPRK, -stressed Mr. I. Tonkikh.
The visit of the South Korean delegation resulted in reaching the arrangement to set a stable trilateral communication link in order to negotiate the cooperation in the project in the format of The Republic of Korea- the Democratic People Republic of Korea - the Russian Federation. The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Operation Мr. Song Young Gil announced intention of the Korean party to hold further negations in the framework of intergovernmental consultations.
As a reminder:
The RasonConTrans Joint-Venture Company was incorporated under the laws almost 10 years ago. It is a subsidiary formed by JSC Russian Railways to launch the international cargo transportation through the port of Rajin using the railway track Tumangan (Khasan in Russia)-Rajin (DPRK) connected with the Trans -Siberian Railway. The port of Rajin became a partner on a part of the DPRK.
The project provided the reconstruction of 54 kilometers of combined railway tracks with a rail gage of 1435 and 1520 mm and the constructive works including 18 bridges, 12 pipe-culverts and 3 tunnels with total mileage more than 4.5 km. The modern equipment of signalization, interlocking, lock and operational communication systems were installed. The official opening ceremony of the reconstructed railway track Khasan (RF)-Rajin (DPRK) took place nearly 5 years ago. The railroad infrastructure stipulates train-handling capacity in amount of 12 train-pairs per 24 hours that is 7-8 million tons of coal a year. It is important to mention that the Rajin-Khasan project was exempted from the sanctions list of the UNSC on the bidding of the Russian party.