Published: Sun, December 02, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

North Korean soldier defects to South Korea amid peace efforts

North Korean soldier defects to South Korea amid peace efforts

Before the division of the Korean peninsula in 1948, there were two railway lines linking the North to the South - one in the west and the other in the east. Fifty-six South Korean officials will participate in the surveys, 28 each for the inspections on the western and eastern sections, the ministry said. About 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly traveling via China, since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

In November 2017, a North Korean soldier dashed through a hail of bullets fired by his fellow troops to enter the South through Panmunjom, the so-called truce village that straddles the border.

"I think we're going to do one, fairly, into January, February", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he returned late Saturday from the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

"We're getting along very well".

The primary goal of discussions between the USA and North Korea remains the creation of "a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", said a White House statement issued Saturday following Trump's meeting in Argentina with Chinese Present Xi Jinping.

The South's dovish President Moon has long favoured engagement with the nuclear-armed North and has dangled large investment and joint cross-border projects as incentives for steps towards denuclearisation.

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Trump said earlier in October that his meeting with Kim would be held after the midterm Congressional elections, and the venue of his second meeting with Kim had been narrowed down to "three or four" locations.

- Kim visit to Seoul this year?

He also said he'd like to invite Kim to the United States at some point. That original plan was botched by Washington's reluctance to lift sanctions on the North until last week, when it finally gave the green light.

The cross-border route was discontinued in 2008 when the relationship between the North and South grew worse due to North Korea's nuclear weapons program, per The New York Times.

They have also begun work to reconnect a train line and fix another rail link across the border.

The prospect of Kim's visit to Seoul had been in doubt amid the stalled denuclearization talks between Pyongyang and Washington, with the two sides in a deadlock over who should make the first move since Kim and Trump held their first summit in June. "The two leaders agreed Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to Seoul would provide additional momentum to their joint efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula", Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said.

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