RAJIN, North Korea - Russia re-opened a railway link with North Korea on Sunday, holding out the prospect of increased trade for the reclusive nation with its biggest neighbors after years of international sanctions.

Impoverished and squeezed by sanctions for conducting a series of nuclear and missile tests, North Korea has reached out to Moscow and Beijing for help to fill the gap left by the drying up of South Korean and US economic assistance.

The head of Russia's state railway monopoly said the 54-km (34-mile) track from the Russian eastern border town of Khasan to the North Korean port of Rajin would export coal and import goods from South Korea and other Asian countries.

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