Russian-North Korean Railroad Dispute

Scott Parrish for OMRI

06/07/96

Railway officials in Primorskii Krai told ITAR-TASS on 6 June that they will continue to block rail traffic into North Korea because of Pyongyang's failure to pay a $20 million debt. Since the beginning of May, the railway has refused to let any trains cross the border, said spokesman Yurii Khomichuk, adding that prior to the blockade, about 50 freight cars per day crossed into North Korea, currently undergoing severe economic difficulties. On the same day, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksandr Panov said Russia does not intend to politicize the dispute, and hopes for a speedy resolution but added that the Russian Far East has suffered considerable economic losses as the result of North Korea's failure to pay its debts.

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