April 15, 2009

European Travellers Go from Vienna to Pyongyang via Railroad

Two European railroad travel buffs travelled from Vienna to Pyongyang via the tran-Siberian railway and somehow managed to get into North Korea through the less-travelled Russia-Korea border at Hasan/Tumangan. Though the railroad crossings at the China-Korea border at Dandong/Sinuiju are used by foreign tourists, the route from Russia has been closed off to foreigners. These travellers have an extensive travelogue with many photographs of North Korean railroad stations (above) and adjoining countryside where the fields seem to be having good crops (see below), despite the recent news of bad agricultural yields due to drought.

These adventurous travellers in effect engaged in citizen diplomacy by befriending North Korean railroad workers. Perhaps someday the Russia-Korea railway will become a busy route that harbors a regional economic development in that region, like the proposed Greater Tumen Initiative.

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