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

A man watches a television news report showing

President Putin is seeking a summit meeting with Kim Jong-un, North Korea's state media said today, in what would be the first face-to-face talks between the two leaders.

The invitation was issued in June but the Kremlin said Pyongyang had yet to respond.

The plan was unveiled during a speech marking the Korean Peninsula's independence from Japanese colonial rule 73-years ago on Wednesday. "I hope North Korea's complete denuclearization and the United States' corresponding measures will be swiftly pursued", Moon added.

The United States has remained steadfast on "maximum pressure" against North Korea even as Pyongyang has made efforts to "shut down" the Punggye-ri nuclear site, return USA remains from the 1950-53 Korean War, and strengthen exchanges between North and South, Xinhua stated.

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

Putin also said the relations between the two states keep developing in a "friendly and constructive manner".

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To this end, South Korea will seek to physically connect its roads and railways with those of North Korea before the year's end, the president said. Although he did not specify the countries, it is likely to mean both Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and Mongolia. "And this will mark the start to a multilateral security system in Northeast Asia".

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.

At their next summit in September in Pyongyang, the two leaders will "take an audacious step to proceed toward the declaration of an end to the Korean War and the signing of a peace treaty, as well as the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", Moon added. "Our economy may take a new leap when we realize the goal of forming a peaceful economic community", he said.

He also proposed the establishment of "special unification economic zones" in border regions.

"Peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula depends on what we do".



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