UPDATE : 2019.7.22 MON 10:50
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Trump-Kim summit raises hope of economic blueprint on Korean Peninsula

The historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has raised hopes for a new economic blueprint for the Korean Peninsula, but Seoul is still cautious because sanctions will remain until denuclearization takes place, the head of a presidential committee said Friday.

After this week's summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that sanctions on North Korea will not be lifted until the North commits to getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

Rep. Song Young-gil of the ruling Democratic Party, who heads the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, said he is cautious about discussing economic cooperation projects with North Korea as sanctions are in force.

Song Young-gil, the chief of the Presidential Committee on Northern Economic Cooperation, speaks during a press conference on June 15, 2018. (Yonhap)

However, Song said he expects economic projects with North Korea to gain momentum if there are some meaningful "follow-up" steps after the Trump-Kim summit.

President Moon Jae-in gave Kim a USB memory stick containing materials on a "New Economic Map of the Korean Peninsula" during their summit on April 27.

The presidential committee's economic cooperation "belts" would be three-pronged, divided into the eastern and western coasts and the border area, to build physical networks.

The eastern coast belt would be for energy and resources and incorporate the "northern triangle" linking South Korea's southeastern port city of Busan, the two Koreas, China and Russia, and the "southern triangle" that runs through Busan, the North's Rajin-Sonbong free economic zones and Japan's Niigata Port.

The western coast belt will serve as the industry, logistics and transportation network that links South Korea's western cities with North Korea's border city of Kaesong to interconnect with Pyongyang and China's Shanghai. A high-speed transportation system would connect Seoul and Beijing.

The border belt would be for the environment and tourism. South and North Korea would operate ecotours and a green business, and engage in joint water resources management projects. (Yonhap)

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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