Moon wants railway to Uzbekistan via North Korea | Eurasia Diary -

22 May, Wednesday

Moon wants railway to Uzbekistan via North Korea

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Korea and Uzbekistan agreed to upgrade their bilateral relationship to a "special strategic partnership" and enhance exchanges accordingly, President Moon Jae-in said Friday.

Moon, who is visiting Uzbekistan as part of a three-nation Central Asia trip from April 16 to 23, said he hopes to see the two countries connected through a railway network. "We, as friends and brothers, agreed to enhance our relations," Moon said during a speech to the Uzbek parliament. He referred to a summit with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev that took place earlier Friday. "We therefore will elevate bilateral ties to a special strategic partnership and enhance policies to facilitate exchanges."

President Moon noted the trade volume between the two countries reached a record $2.1 billion last year and that over 600 Korean companies run business in Uzbekistan.

The cooperation varies from information and communications technology (ICT) to health care and the environment, according to Moon.

Moon has sought to open a railway network connecting the two Koreas and Eurasia, as part of his wider push for inter-Korean reconciliation.

He added that he has been dreaming of taking a train from the Uzebk capital of Tashkent since his departure from Seoul.

"This will be the iron silk road of the 21st century. Koreans will be able to see the prospective future of Central Asia," he said.

He thanked the people of Uzbekistan for their hospitality towards ethnic Koreans when the latter were forced to move to Uzbekistan from the Far East region in the 1930s.

Korea Times

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