[EDITORIALS]Roads and rails to peace

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[EDITORIALS]Roads and rails to peace

Today the two Koreas are to break ground to build a road toward the reunification of the peninsula. The South and the North agreed to hold ground-breaking ceremonies to reconnect cross-border railways and roads running along the east and west corridors between the two Koreas. The ceremonies will take place just south and north of the Demilitarized Zone.

The road and rail links to reconnect the two Koreas after 57 years of separation should establish peace and advance unification, the earnest hope of 70 million Koreans.

The government officials of the two Koreas compromised pragmatically when negotiating the rail and road links in order to realize that hope. Such attitude should be employed all the time at all inter-Korean negotiations. The two Koreas' military authorities agreed to build and open a hotline to communicate with each other; that is an extremely positive development.

The hotline is to prevent any accidental clash between workers building the roads and rails inside the DMZ, which may lead to a bigger collision. The hotline is an emergency communication tool, but the tool will only play a limited role. The phone line is only to communicate about the construction.

In addition to the hotline connecting the military authorities, another line between the heads of the states should be opened. That would bring out the true meaning of relinking the cut-off rails and roads. That would prove the two Korean governments' strong intent to promote peace, reconciliation and cooperation on the peninsula.

The North is receiving equipment and material from the South -- virtually free supplies -- to build its part of the project. The equipment to remove mines will also be provided by the South. It is notable that such cooperative spirit has been realized inside the DMZ, where the most acute military standoff on the earth is taking place.

Continuing such spirit, the two Koreas must come up with measures to ease military tension on the peninsula. Building a state of peace is the shortcut to unification. We urge the statesmen from North and South Korea to make concrete decisions that will lead to achieving a peaceful union.

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