Putin ready to meet North Korea's Kim at 'early date'

H01 koreas

Moon emphasized that complete denuclearization of North Korea is required for economic cooperation, saying that before political unification, the two Koreas could form an "economic community".

Moon went on to say that the railroad community will lead to greater cooperation among the concerned nations, comparing it to the European Coal and Steel Community that laid the foundation for the European Union.

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 development of South-North Korean relations is not an additional outcome of development in North Korea-U.S. ties".

He estimated cross-border economic cooperation could be worth at least 170 trillion won (S$207 billion) over the next 30 years, citing a study by a state-run think tank.

To lift economic sanctions, the United States insists the North take tangible denuclearization steps such as submitting a listing of its nuclear arsenal and nuclear and missile facilities.

The Russian leader's personal message celebrated the 73rd anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese colonial rule, which is marked as a holiday in both the North and the South.

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South Korea is preparing for a third summit with North Korea next month as the two countries seek to move forward with denuclearization talks.

South Korean media have said that the U.S., South Korea, China and North Korea may release a peace statement in September.

"When peace is established on the Korean peninsula along with complete denuclearisation, economic cooperation can be carried out in earnest", Moon said.

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.

"I believe in the importance of recognizing ourselves as the main actors when it comes to dealing with Korean peninsula-related issues", said President Moon.

This "serves as a driving force to continuously develop the bilateral relations as required by a new era", the North Korean leader added.

The neighbours remain technically in a state of war since the Korean War of 1950 to 1953 ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty. Pyongyang has been calling for an end-of-war declaration as a security guarantee in return for taking denuclearization actions.

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