Putin ready to meet N. Korea's Kim soon - North's state media

Sergio Conner
August 16, 2018

"Rather, the development of South-North Korean relations is the driving force that promotes denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Moon said.

"Given the fact that Kim has had two meetings with Xi Jinping, an exclusive bilateral meeting between the North Korean and Russian heads of state would allow Russia to be seen as an independent player in Korea in its own right", said Anthony Rinna, an analyst on Russian foreign policy in East Asia for the Sino-NK research group.

North Korea is known to want a peace deal ending the 1950 Korean War, and the USA is seen as resistant to the idea.

The two Koreas announced earlier this week that Moon and Kim will meet in Pyongyang sometime next month.

In a remark that echoed the North's demands for a step-by-step denuclearization approach in which Washington gives something in return for each denuclearization step Pyongyang takes, Moon said he hoped "corresponding comprehensive measures by the United States will be pursed quickly" for the North's "complete denuclearization".

Earlier, Putin has invited Kim Jong Un to visit Russian Federation.

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.

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South Korea President Moon Jae-in says his government plans to begin a joint railway project with North Korea this year, while also linking "full-scale" inter-Korean economic cooperation with denuclearization progress in the North.

South Korean news service Newsis reported Wednesday Moon's package includes South Korean assistance in rebuilding North Korea's infrastructure and setting up "inland factories".

The three-year conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically at war.

The U.S. State Department said on Tuesday that no official meetings or negotiations are now planned between Washington and Pyongyang, but that informal talks continue on a regular basis.

"Economic cooperation can really take off when peace is established on the Korean Peninsula, along with its complete denuclearization".

"When the deep-rooted distrust between the two Koreas and between the North and the United States is lifted, the mutual agreement can be implemented", he said on the peninsula's 73rd anniversary of liberation from Japanese rule, which lasted from 1910 to 1945. Pyongyang has been calling for an end-of-war declaration as a security guarantee in return for taking denuclearization actions.

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