History and politics have long divided the eastern Youngnam and the western Honam regions, but this could change with the East-West railway, according to some 200 lawmakers, mayors and scholars participating in the event held at the National Assembly.
In particular, lawmakers of both ruling and opposition parties voiced bipartisan views on the necessity of the project.
``Korea's existing major railway infrastructure have focused on a North-South connection," said Chung Dong-young, referring to the case of the Gyeongbu KTX, a high-speed railway running from Seoul to the southern port city of Busan. ``The East-West line will make an important contribution to the reconciliation of the two regions." he added.
The independent lawmaker, who represents a Jeonju district in North Jeolla Province, is one of the co-organizers of the conference with Rep. Lee Cheol-woo, from Gimcheon, of the governing Grand National Party (GNP).
``Misunderstanding and hostility between the peoples of the two regions is in part due to a lack of exchange through mutual visits and communication," said Lee.
There is a Harmony, Pennsylvania, so when I read the headline "East-West Railway Planned for Harmony" in the Korea Times I was like "what?"