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KTX GWANGMYEONG: THE DEPARTURE STATION OF THE EURASIAN TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD

KTX Gwangmyeong: the Departure Station of the Eurasian Transcontinental Railroad
On the 7th of April, 2017, the participants of the World Journalists Conference 2017, greatly impressive international event having celebrated its 5th anniversary in 2017, and organized by the Journalists Association of Korea that took place in Seoul, Busan, Gyeong-gi-do, and Gangwon-do, Korea, from the 2nd to 8th of April, 2017, to discuss Journalism in Fostering World Peace, have arrived at the Gwangmyeong Station from Busan by well supplied KTX (Korea Train Express) train.
The participants of the conference, guests from over 60 nations around the world, have been generously invited by Yang Ki-dae, the Mayor of the Gwangmyeong City for the luncheon at the KTX Gwangmyeong Station, a departure station of Korea’s High-speed Train, which was hugely built after KTX was opened in 2004.    
Gwangmyeong City, populated by nearly 350 thousand people, for a long time used to be a typical commuter town near Seoul, relatively nameless and unknown and received only three thousand tourists a year. 
Despite having some tourist attractions, among which are the Kia Motors in So-a-ri, and KTX, as well as such a significant project as the Gwangmyeong Reconstruction in 2010, and a huge site of 191.7ha (1.9km²) surrounding the Gwangmyeong Station, there appeared to be limited possibilities for the development of the city and station in general. As even the routes seemed to ignore Gwangmyeong and instead of the railroad supposed to reach Busan and proceed down further to Mokpo and Gwangju became a lot shorter and stopped at Seoul Station and Youngsan Station, consequently, Gwangmyeong Station ended up being just a small station and minimized the opportunities for its further utilization. 
Since 2012, after successful launch of such shopping centers as are COSTCO, IKEA (in 2014) or Lotte Premium Outlet by the special efforts of the Mayor, Gwangmyeong currently is crowded with skyscrapers and businesses, and with them, the new dream of the citizens as Mr. Yang Ki-dae explained in his welcome speech for the World Journalists Conference participants.
According to one of the major plans of the city of Gwangmyeong, KTX Gwangmyeong Station is seen to become the departure station for very important Eurasian Transcontinental Railroad that will go through North Korea, China and Russia, and reach as far as Siberia, Europe and the UK. The station is likely to be set as a transportation and logistics platform and a future growth engine. The bulletin train KTX Gwangmyeong Station as a hub for the Korean transportation, which connects the high-speed railways across the country, is the key network of roads in the capital area, including Seoul.
With the help of the Pan-Citizen Measure Committee for Nurturing the KTX Gwangmyeong Station as a Transportation & Logistics Base, the city of Gwangmyeong signed economic cooperation agreements with Dandong and Hunchun, China, the first gateway where the rapid KTX trains departing from Gwangmyeong Station connect to the Chinese Trans China Railway and the Russian Trans-Siberian Railway and further Khasan, Russia, respectively. Gwangmyeong plans to set up friendship agreements with Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia and Irkutsk in Russia as well. 
Above all, the city of Gwangmyeong outlines to drive the policies, such as the sports, including civilian-level soccer games, human exchange and tourism cooperation with those 3 cities in 2017. Subsequently, the city is scheduled to further expand the exchanges with the main railroad cities of China, Russia and Mongolia.  
A launching message of The Pan-Citizen Measure Committee for Nurturing the KTX Gwangmyeong Station as a Transportation & Logistics Hub points out three main advantages of the project: 
A new heart of growth of Korea;
Contributing to expanding the economic territory of Korea;
Inducing real changes inside North Korea. 
Promising expectations prevail regarding the new cabinet of the Korean administration forming on the 9th of May, 2017, about improving Korean-Chinese, as well as inter-Korean relations that therefore would increase the possibility for North Korea to open its way for the railroad. North Korea is believed to positively considering such an opportunity based on their pragmatic interests; if the railroad to China and Russia would go to North Korea, certain income from imposition transit taxes would help their economy.
As the participants of the World Journalists Conference 2017, we had an amazing chance for sightseeing after the luncheon and visited 40-year-old former mine - Gwangmyeong Cave, full of colorful shows and other creative surprises.
Called as the “Miracle of Suburb”, Gwangmyeong visited by only three thousand in 2010, has welcomed over two million ten thousand tourists as of 2017.
Khatuna Chapichadze, Associate Professor of Georgian Technical University, Tbilisi, Georgia  
25.05.2017 - Hit : 599


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