South Korea Proposes ‘Railroad Community’ With North Korea, U.S.

South Korea proposed setting up an “East Asian Railroad Community” that includes the U.S. and North Korea, as Seoul seeks to mellow down rising tensions between the two sides, Bloomberg informs.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday said that the new economic community would connect his country’s railroads to those of other northeast Asian nations, comparing the group to the coal and steel community that helped pave the way for the European Union.

“The community will expand the horizon of the Korean economy to the northern part of the continent and become the main artery of mutual prosperity in Northeast Asia. It will initiate a Northeast Asian multilateral peace and security system,” Moon added.

The initiative is one of many efforts that South Korea is undertaking to strengthen peace in Northeast Asia following June’s milestone U.S.-North Korea summit. Since then, the North Korean regime has dismantled some missile engine testing facilities, but many question leader Kim Jong-un’s willingness to deliver on the denuclearization promise he made to President Donald Trump, CNBC notes.

Moon also called for broad energy and economic cooperation with the North on Wednesday, stressing his goal to politically unify both countries and pointing out that “true liberation will only be achieved when the two neighbors establish a lasting peace and economic relations.”

Moon also indicated that he will soon visit Pyongyang for a third bilateral summit with Kim. In May, the duo held their official second meeting at the border village of Panmunjom following an earlier summit in April, CNBC adds.

However, according to a Foreign Affairs analysis, two months after the historic Singapore summit with Trump, it’s Kim who clearly has the upper hand in the developments between the two sides.

“Although Trump is desperate to continue claiming that he “solved” the North Korean nuclear threat at Singapore, as many predicted, North Korea continues to expand its nuclear and ballistic missile arsenals and has played its diplomatic hand brilliantly. It has burned a lot of time while taking largely cosmetic steps on its nuclear weapons program, such as partially destroying its nuclear test site and engine test facility, neither of which it needs to mass-produce nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. These steps give up just enough to keep Trump at bay and allow Beijing and Moscow to provide Pyongyang with trade and energy, thereby deflating maximum pressure,” Foreign Affairs points out.

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