South Korea’s president wants transportation links with North as first step toward economic integration

August 15, 2018 2:43 PM

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That in turn could pave the way for an East Asian Railroad Community, encompassing six Northeast Asian countries and the United States, he said. Although he did not specify the countries, it is likely to mean both Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and Mongolia.

“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,” Moon said. “It will then lead to the creation of East Asian energy and economic communities. Moreover, it will initiate a Northeast Asian multilateral peace and security system.”

Moon compared this initiative to the gradually expanding ties that Europe instituted after the Second World War, starting with a six-nation coal and steel community and eventually culminating in the European Union.

“When peace is established on the Korean Peninsula along with complete denuclearization, economic cooperation can be carried out in earnest,” he said. “When the dreams of a peace-based economy and economic community are realized, our economy can take a new leap forward.”

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

Moon’s remarks will be closely scrutinized in Washington for signs that he might be jumping the gun. The Trump administration wants to keep up sanctions pressure on North Korea until the regime dismantles its nuclear weapons program. So far, there has been no real sign that it is doing so.


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