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S Korean Train Crosses Military Demarcation Line
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South and North Korea conducted historic cross-border railway test-runs on Thursday.


A total of 150 passengers, 100 from South Korea and 50 from North Korea, took a South Korean train after attending a joint ceremony for the test-run at the Munsan station Thursday morning.


At the ceremony held in Munsan before the train's departure, South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung and his North Korean counterpart Kwon Ho-ung delivered commemorative speeches. Both expressed their willingness to promote bilateral cooperation and national reconciliation.


Hopefully, the Korean Peninsula will be integrated with the railway linking the two sides, and the railway will further become a road of prospects and a bridge of peace, Lee said.


"Today the heart of the Korean peninsula will start beating again, and the trains represent the dreams, the hopes and the future of two countries," he added.


Kwon Ho-ung said he believes that the two sides will both contribute their energy and wisdom for the sake of the national reconciliation.


The train, which pulled out of the Munsan station at 11:30 local time (0230 GMT) towards the North Korea's Kaesong station, crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) at 12:15 local time (0315 GMT), thus becoming the first train across the MDL since the inter-Korean railway system was cut off in 1951.


Meanwhile, a North Korean train departed from North Korea's Geumgang Station to South Korea's Jaejin Station along the Donghae Line also at 11: 30 local time (0230 GMT). A total of 150 South and North Korean representatives are aboard the train.


South and North Korea agreed last month to conduct cross-border railway test-runs on Thursday.


(Xinhua News Agency May 17, 2007)

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