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Bullet train travelers in areas near North Korea to reach 30 million

Sept. 13 (UPI) — Tensions on the Korean peninsula have not deterred roughly 30 million passengers in China from traveling in areas near the border with North Korea, two years after China launched a bullet train route that connects key areas of Jilin Province.

According to China’s People’s Daily Online on Wednesday, a high-speed railway that began operations in September 2015 and now connects the city of Changchun in Jilin Province to Hunchun City in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, carried 18 million passengers in its first year of service, then transported another 13 million people in its second year.

An average of about 41,000 passengers have used the bullet train to travel each day, the report states.

The bullet train is popular because a 220-mile trip from Changchun to Hunchun can be made in 3 hours, when the train is traveling at a distance of 155 mph.

Before high-speed trains were available in the region, the trip would take 7 hours and 30 minutes by railroad.

Another high-speed train between Yanji, Jilin Province, and Dalian, Liaoning Province, allows passengers to reach their destination in 6 hours, down from 18 hours before the availability of bullet trains.

China’s high-speed rail corporation has also created a travel itinerary that allows customers to travel across major cities in the country’s northeast: Shenyang, Harbin, Beijing and Tianjin.

A separate itinerary allows tourists to travel by high-speed train to a number of attractions including Changbai Mountain, also known as Mount Paektu, in North Korea.

The mountain is revered as a sacred site and is the official birthplace of former leader Kim Jong Il.

China’s high-speed rail firm has earned about $410 million in revenue from the network that cost $5.6 billion to build.

Jilin Province was the site of aftershock tremors, following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on Sept. 3.

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