S. Korea Plans to Start Railway Project With North This Year

H01 koreas

H01 koreas

Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to work toward increased economic cooperation when they met in April.

But in order for the project to proceed, North Korea should carry out practical denuclearization steps so that global sanctions barring foreign investments or business deals with Pyongyang could be lifted.

Now global sanctions imposed on North Korea for its provocative nuclear and ballistic missile tests prohibit the estimated $35 billion joint Korean railway project to link not only South and North Korea with high speed train service, but also provide South Korean industries an overland rail connection to China, Russia and even Europe.

Meanwhile, at the risk of arousing suspicion from the South's military ally the United States, Moon declared his ambition to create a Northeast Asian "railroad community" including his own country along with the North, Russia, China, Japan and Mongolia.

The pair, alongside other North Korean officials, feasted on filet mignon, corn puree, and homemade vanilla ice cream, and later went on to meet Donald Trump and other administration officials at the White House.

According to a KBS survey of more than 1,000 respondents in August, fewer South Koreans expressed hostility toward the North Korean government, and some even said they felt positive toward Pyongyang.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech during a ceremony to celebrate the Korean Liberation Day, marking the 73rd anniversary of Korea's liberation from the Japanese colonial rule, in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018.

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Putin also said the relations between the two states keep developing in a "friendly and constructive manner".

Moon said he intends to play an active role in moving the denuclearization progress forward.

Moon also said that renewed economic ties could generate $149 billion for North Korea over 30 years. The summit will be in Pyongyang, though the exact date has not been announced. They would apparently include "reciprocal cooperation" involving economic ties between Russian Federation and both Koreas.

While he did not offer specifics on the proposed plan, it was likely that he had in mind the Kaesong Industrial Complex's business model, which would bring together South Korean capital and North Korea's cheap labor.

The KBS poll also showed 55 percent of South Korean respondents were optimistic about resolving the North Korean nuclear issue, up from 45 percent in 2017.

South Korea are reigning women's basketball champions but have agreed to field a joint team with the North this time as part of efforts to promote peace, something Sports Minister Do Jong-whan told them they should be proud of.

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