SEOUL, Jan. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — An underground tunnel connecting South Korea and China appears to be a possibility limited only by time and money.
A research report detailing the nuts and bolts of how such a project would work was commissioned by a dozen cities and counties located throughout the eastern and western provinces of South Korea and undertaken by researchers at Sun Moon University.
The lead author of the report, professor Yoon Kwon-jong, said, “If a South Korea-to-China underwater pathway is constructed, our country will be able to access the Trans-China Railroad and Trans-Siberia Railroad without having to go through North Korea, making South Korea both the first and last stop on the Silk Road.”
The underwater tunnel described by Yoon would be 325km long, with entrances at Daesan Harbor and the Chinese city of Weihai, the closest points between the two countries.
The existence of the tunnel would more than halve a trip from South Korea to Europe; Yoon estimates a shipment that currently takes 45 days by sea could arrive on European soil in two weeks via the Trans-China Railroad.
The hypothetical project would cost 120 trillion won and take 15 years to complete.
Yoon added that the economic windfall generated from the tunnel would be highly significant if the entrance was linked to the new trans-Korea railroad connecting the east and west coasts that is slated for construction.
The railroad is a 3.7 trillion won project that will span 330km when completed, cutting straight through the heart of South Korea.
A member of the Cheonan city government intimated that a more detailed blueprint will be developed using professor Yoon’s findings and submitted to the central government for review.