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Moon moves to alleviate talks tension

The leaders of the ROK, the DPRK and the US confirmed their common determination for the complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, the ROK President Moon Jae-in said on Monday.

Moon made the remarks in an exclusive interview with The Times of India newspaper after kicking off his first state visit to India on Sunday, during which he will hold talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Korean Peninsula issues and ways to boost defense and trade cooperation.

Despite recent high-level talks between Pyongyang and Washington ending in disagreement, Moon said in the interview that the three sides will unwaveringly seek to carry out the process for peace on the peninsula through candid talks and well-intentioned measures.

Moon said that what the three countries have to do now is to fully implement the agreements made at the inter-Korean summits and the DPRK-US summit as soon as possible.

The ROK's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said on Monday that the process of ironing out differences between Pyongyang and Washington is necessary in the initial phase of negotiations for the denuclearization, according to the Yonhap news agency in the ROK.

Cho's remarks came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang over the weekend. Pyongyang issued a statement soon after Pompeo's visit, calling US denuclearization demands "unilateral" and "gangster-like" and accusing it of having "never mentioned the issue of establishing a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula".

Moon thanked the international community's constant support and cooperation on the denuclearization issue and called for joint efforts to establish peace on the peninsula, adding that the easing of tensions initiated in the region will greatly contribute to peace and prosperity in South Asia.

New avenues

The ROK president is scheduled to hold talks with Modi on Tuesday during his four-day visit, which India expects will open new avenues for expanding the bilateral partnership, particularly in the defense and economic areas.

The Indian media reported that there has been an upswing in India's defense and economic cooperation with the ROK and both sides are expected to explore ways to enhance it.

It said Moon's visit comes at a time when India is also looking for cooperation with both Seoul and Pyongyang to boost its regional development projects.

According to the report, the two countries are expected to forge closer political and defense ties and to make tangible headway in advancing the ROK's $10 billion assistance towards the development of India's infrastructure.

They are also expected to reach an early harvest agreement on upgrading the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and to enhance cooperation in various areas, from technology and cyber security to tourism and culture.

Seoul and New Delhi have established a "Special Strategic Partnership" after Modi paid a visit to the ROK in May 2015.

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