The governments of Russia and North Korea have begun formal talks on building the first road bridge linking their two countries, over the Tumen River.
At present, there is a rail link, and flights between Pyongyang and Vladivostok are available on Mondays and Fridays, but it is not possible to drive over the border.
The discussions were held between Alexander Kozlov, Russia’s Far East development minister, andÂ Kim Young-Jae, North Korea’s minister for external economic relations, in Pyongyang on 7 June, reports Business Korea.
A bridge over the Tumen has been discussed for many years but neither country has committed to funding the project.
The ministers also discussed the Rajin-Khasan Project to transport Russian goods such as coal using the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Rajin Port in the North.
South Korean companies were initially expected to take part in these projects, but this was ruled out after the North conducted a nuclear test in January 2016. Russian companies are reported to be ruling themselves out to avoid US government sanctions.
In November last year, a bridge was completed between China and North Korea over the Tumen River connecting Namyang District in North Hamgyong Province and the Chinese city of Tumen
Image: The Tumen River, showing the Hunchun Quanhe bridge to China (Yoshi Canopus /CC BY-SA 3.0)