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Old 05-07-2018, 07:01 AM
 
3,515 posts, read 4,967,573 times
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If North Korea opens up to the world --- A proposal to improve its poor, lousy railway system and open up commerce with China and South Korea

https://www.citylab.com/transportati...project/559652
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Old 05-07-2018, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Howard County, Maryland
5,694 posts, read 3,657,754 times
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Conspicuously absent in this article is any mention of how much this project would cost, to say nothing of who would be paying for it.

That said, it's a nice dream to imagine North Korea (which would by then be just "the northern part of Korea") entering the modern world and having access to the kind of transportation infrastructure that has already helped transform South Korea into the modern nation that it is. Maybe, just maybe, it will become more than just a dream.
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Old 05-07-2018, 12:56 PM
 
116 posts, read 64,116 times
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Unrealistically optimistic but we'll see.
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Old 05-08-2018, 08:56 AM
 
12,319 posts, read 18,429,303 times
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The article failed to mention something a bit important - who will pay for these railroad upgrades inside of North Korea? Again, are we going to reward bad behavior?
I would hope the money that North Korea had been investing in it's nuclear program can now be shuffled into project like this, no freebies from the west or S. Korea.
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Old 05-08-2018, 05:22 PM
 
Location: San Diego CA
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The history of negotiations with N Korea is that in order to try to normalize relations the Communist despot dear leader is always able wrangle some kind of economic aid from us. Who knows what these secret meetings with Pompeo are all about. Hold on to your wallets American taxpayer.
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Old 05-13-2018, 10:10 PM
 
76 posts, read 40,022 times
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In 2025, North Korea may have high speed rails and brand new high ways. We will stuck with our unsafe Amtrak and broken road.
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Old 05-14-2018, 08:28 AM
 
116 posts, read 64,116 times
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No way is the U.S. going to bear any of the costs for developing N.Korea. That doesn't make any sense. Or is that what the (liberal) S.Korean politicians are secretly hoping for? They are all talks but none of them has a concrete plan as for how to pay for any of these developments.

I don't think enough Koreans (or some foreign media) understand how costly this endeavor is. Or how risky it is.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Tucson AZ & Leipzig, Germany
2,387 posts, read 7,769,734 times
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After the unification of East & West Germany in 1990, a "solidarity tax" of about 5% was imposed on the incomes of all residents in Germany, on top of the already high federal and state income and VAT sales taxes they pay. The 5% solidarity tax was devoted to infrastructure building and modernization in the 5 eastern states of Germany. Nearly 30 years later, they are still paying the solidarity tax and the cost of infrastructure build in the 5 eastern states of Germany.

If North & South Korea ever decide to re-unite, which is a big uncertain IF, the taxpayers in South Korea will have to foot the lion's share of infrastructure modernization costs. It would take probably take 20+ years to get essential infrastructure in most of N Korea to be anywhere close to what S Korea is today.

At least for rail construction, N Korea has the same Standard rail track gauge (1435 mm) as S Korea and China. Russia and the 14 republics of the former USSR use wide gauge track (1520 mm). Any N Korea train heading into Russia require the rail cars to be hoisted at a border crossing train yard and set onto onto 1520 mm wheelsets to proceed into Russia. I've watched this at train crossings from Poland to Belarus and it is surprising how fast this can be done.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,351 posts, read 7,519,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recycled View Post
After the unification of East & West Germany in 1990, a "solidarity tax" of about 5% was imposed on the incomes of all residents in Germany, on top of the already high federal and state income and VAT sales taxes they pay. The 5% solidarity tax was devoted to infrastructure building and modernization in the 5 eastern states of Germany. Nearly 30 years later, they are still paying the solidarity tax and the cost of infrastructure build in the 5 eastern states of Germany.

If North & South Korea ever decide to re-unite, which is a big uncertain IF, the taxpayers in South Korea will have to foot the lion's share of infrastructure modernization costs. It would take probably take 20+ years to get essential infrastructure in most of N Korea to be anywhere close to what S Korea is today.

At least for rail construction, N Korea has the same Standard rail track gauge (1435 mm) as S Korea and China. Russia and the 14 republics of the former USSR use wide gauge track (1520 mm). Any N Korea train heading into Russia require the rail cars to be hoisted at a border crossing train yard and set onto onto 1520 mm wheelsets to proceed into Russia. I've watched this at train crossings from Poland to Belarus and it is surprising how fast this can be done.


There are essentially two approaches to the operation of rail systems among the world's nations and economies; they are polar opposites but both work well if they are used in the economic system for which they are best suited, and fail miserably when they're not.

At one end of the spectrum are the nationalized systems of Western Europe and Japan, which are oriented toward the cycles of daily and weekly life, and usually carry freight only as an afterthought. This happens because distances traveled are short, and alternatives for freight like canals and coastal waterways are common. An operating deficit is usually covered by a subsidy because convenient passenger transport is viewed as a public necessity, and ownership of private vehicles is often penalized by taxation.

And at the opposite pole are the private and quasi-private railroads of the United States and Canada, which operate constantly day and night, and. carry very large volumes of freight over very long distances. These operate without direct subsidy, but the majority have found themselves in severe financial straits, usually resolved by reorganization, at one time or another. The member states of the former Soviet Union and China are also heavily freight-oriented.

And obviously, a number of "hybrid" systems have evolved in other parts of the world; Australia, a developed nation which still clings to three separate gauges (distances between the rails) is the most prominent example. And third world nations, which usually had small systems developed privately, but which failed (mostly due to the emergence of the automobile and the airplane) and were then nationalized, are another.

Even assuming that North Korea embraces market reforms quickly, it will be some time before the Korean peninsula can be reunified and the economic needs of the "new" Korea defined and addressed; in the meantime, interchange of freight traffic with China and Russia can be addressed via the technology mentioned in Post #8.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold miner View Post
In 2025, North Korea may have high speed rails and brand new high ways. We will stuck with our unsafe Amtrak and broken road.
There are obviously some people here who have a great deal to learn; problem is that they far outnumber those with more familiarity with economic realties, and politicians don't always separate fact from opinion.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 05-14-2018 at 02:45 PM..
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