President Moon lauds U.S.-North Korea summit, calls for concrete action

SEOUL, June 20 (UPI) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in called the U.S.-North Korea summit a great success that went beyond his expectation while hoping measures taken after the summit, including the suspension of the U.S.-South Korea joint military drills, could bring further peace talks in the region.

“The North and the South stopped broadcasting propaganda on the border. The South and the U.S. temporarily put off joint military drills, and now a peace process is underway. Such peaceful steps may lay the foundation to further bolster dialogue between the parties concerned,” Moon told Russian media outlets Wednesday.

Moon also called on North Korea to take necessary steps to fulfill its commitment for denuclearization while the United States offers “comprehensive security guarantees.”

He also urged both sides to take necessary steps “as soon as possible” to keep the diplomatic momentum going following the historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump on June 12 in Singapore.

The agreement announced after the summit has met with criticism that it fell short of showing detailed measures and a timeline for denuclearization, raising doubts that it would repeat past mistakes in efforts for resolving North Korean nuclear issues.

Moon hoped to begin a trilateral cooperation among the North, South and Russia in railway infrastructure and gas and electronics energy distribution as soon as the South-North peace regime is established, Yonhap reported.

After the North and South reconnect the disjointed railways, it could be linked to the Trans-Siberian Railway network to facilitate freight transportation from Korea to Europe. Such railway cooperation would bring economic benefits to the two Koreas and Russia, Moon said.

The Panmunjom Declaration signed by Moon and Kim on April 28 mentions linking disjointed railway networks between the North and South as part of inter-Korean exchanges.

“Gas from Russia can be distributed to the North and to the South through an underground pipe and further can reach to Japan via a sub-sea gas pipeline,” Moon said. “This would work the same for the distribution of electronics produced in Russia. I believe it would bring co-prosperity to the Eurasia region.”

Moon will visit Russia on Thursday through Sunday, the first state visit by a South Korean president to Russia in 19 years. Moon is scheduled to address at the lower house of the Russian parliament on Thursday.