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South Korea wants a railway 'community' with North Korea, China and the US

Key Points
  • In a speech on Wednesday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in unveiled several measures designed to strengthen peace in Northeast Asia.
  • One initiative is a seven-nation railroad community that will include North Korea, the U.S. and China.
  • South Korea is planning on linking its railways and roads with the North before the end of the year.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Peace House at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018.
Korea Summit Press | Reuters

South Korean President Moon Jae-in wants to create a Northeast Asian railroad community with North Korea, the United States, China, Japan, Russia and Mongolia, Yonhap News reported on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event marking his country's independence from Japanese rule, Moon said such a "community" could eventually herald the launch of a "multilateral security system" in the region, according to the report.

"This community will lead to an energy bloc and economic bloc in Northeast Asia by expanding our economic area to the northern continent and becoming the foundation of co-existence and prosperity in Northeast Asia," Moon projected, according to Yonhap.

The president's administration will seek to link railways and roads with the North before year-end, Yonhap said.

The initiative is one of many efforts that Seoul is undertaking to strengthen peace in Northeast Asia following June's milestone U.S.-North Korea summit. Since then, the reclusive 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.

Moon also called for broad energy and economic cooperation with the North on Wednesday, stressing his goal to politically unify both countries. "True liberation" will only be achieved when the two neighbors establish a lasting peace and economic relations, the head of state was quoted as saying.

The South Korean leader 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.

For more on Moon's Wednesday speech, see Yonhap's full report.