South Korean Vice Transport Minister Kim Jeong-ryeol told reporters Thursday cooperating with the international community on an inter-Korean project to connect railways is of high importance. 

He said the government should take a leading role in the project but is still conducting an internal review of how to fund it. 

He said adding attracting international investment can diversify risk, enhance the project credibility, and alleviate difficulties the South is facing in funding it unilaterally. 

Kim says the government hopes to start the project before the end of the year.