Thursday, May 17, 2007

A train runs through it: The Times’ “The Lede” blog reports on the first trains to cross the DMZ between South Korea and North Korea, one going each way. This is the first time that a rail link — even just as a publicity stunt, like this one — has existed between the two countries since 1951. Holy cow:

Aboard each train were 100 South Koreans and 50 North Koreans, including "celebrities, politicians and a South Korean driver from one of the last trains to cross before rail links were cut in 1951," Reuters said.

After traveling about 15 miles past the zone into the other nation, both trains returned to their starting points. No plans to begin regular rail service were announced.

In South Korea, the event was covered live by all major networks. North Korea noted the event in its enigmatic way, releasing a four-paragraph report from its official news agency, according to Reuters. That report does not appear to be posted on the official site so far, but a visitor can find “Greetings to Norwegian King” and an ode to “Favorite Bean Foodstuffs.”

As the Northern train arrived in South Korea, it bore a sign on the front reading "The Train Once Boarded by Great President Kim Il-Sung," the nation’s version of "Elvis slept here."


No comments: