A team of South Korean officials and experts who participated in a joint Korean survey on the railway along North Korea's western region returned home on Wednesday.

The team's chief, Im Jong-il, told reporters that railway conditions on the 400-kilometer stretch of the Gyeongui Line connecting Gaeseong and Sinuiju were neither better nor worse compared to eleven years ago. 

He assessed that trains on the railway traveled between 20 to 60 kilometers per hour. 

A South Korean train used in the inspection will stay in the North to be mobilized for an inspection of the 800-kilometer section on the eastern Donghae Line connecting Mount Geumgang and the Tumen River.

South Korea plans to create a new team for those inspections which will begin this Saturday and run through December 17th. 

The inspections are part of a summit agreement reached between the leaders of the Koreas in April to modernize and reconnect rail systems across their borders.

Though no date has been set, the government is aiming to hold a ground-breaking ceremony within this month on connecting and modernizing inter-Korean railways.

[Photo : KBS News]