Moon adviser says North Korea seeks economic growth

Moon adviser says North Korea seeks economic growth

"Astana looks forward to serious outcomes of the forthcoming inter-Korean Summit and hopes the top-level meeting will become a breakthrough in relations between the two countries and help ease tensions in the Korean peninsula". "But it is unclear whether this will be achieved at this summit".

The truce village of Panmunjom, located some 60 kilometers north of Seoul is set to greet a very important guest at the end of the month, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take the unprecedented step of crossing the border for the 2018 Inter-Korean summit.

"Given the historical importance of the upcoming summits [inter-Korean Summit and the DPRK-U.S. Summit], the President of the Republic of Korea can not leave the country".

"If they can agree on the principle that the two sides will co-operate to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and establish permanent peace, we can call it a success", Prof Yang added. "If it fails, Trump will have all the legal grounds to augment pressure on North Korea explaining it by the failure of diplomatic efforts", Rhee Sang Hyong added.

But Kim has changed course since the beginning of the year, sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics held in South Korea in February and agreeing to discuss with South Korea and the United States a nuclear program the North has defended as a necessary deterrent against U.S. invasion.

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Moon Chung-in, a retired Yonsei University professor who is an adviser to President Moon Jae-in on inter-Korean and security issues, shared his assessment in an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press. But UN sanctions that toughened after the North's nuclear and missile tests past year are feared to take a huge toll on its economy if they continue, foreign experts say.

In what would amount to a stunning development, North and South Korea are in discussions to announce at next week's leaders' summit an official end to the military conflict between the two neighbors, which remain technically at war, the South's Munhwa Ilbo daily reported Monday, citing an unidentified "key" South Korean official.

Thae said if Seoul makes concessions to the North, like lifting some sanctions or reopening the joint-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex, it "should strongly demand improvement of human rights in return".

The two Koreas will hold working-level talks on Wednesday to discuss details such as protocol and security before holding another high-level meeting to prepare for the summit.

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