South Korea says North Korean soldier defects to South:The Asahi Shimbun

02 December, 2018, 13:12 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • North Korean Soldier Crosses Heavily Guarded Border and Defects to South Korea

The North Korean soldier was spotted moving towards South Korea, and then crossed over a military demarcation line separating the two sides, the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement.

On the diplomatic front, President Donald Trump said a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely to be held in January or February and three sites are being considered for the meeting. "We have a good relationship", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on his return from a G20 summit in Argentina.

Earlier Saturday, Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who threw his support behind further meetings between Trump and the North Korean leader.

Trump and Kim agreed to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" during their first meeting on June 12 in Singapore.

When asked Saturday if he would ever host Kim in the United States, the Republican president replied: "At some point, yeah".

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US officials are seeking a "substantive next step" toward denuclearization, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNN on Saturday, adding that Washington has been seeing good progress in discussions with Pyongyang. But beyond surveys and tape-cuttings, the Koreas can not move much further along without the removal of USA -led sanctions against the North, which isn't likely before it takes firmer steps toward relinquishing its nuclear weapons and missiles.

Trump has remained optimistic but has insisted economic sanctions and other US -led efforts to pressure the communist state into giving up its nuclear weapons will continue until concrete progress is made.

Pence has also said it was essential that worldwide sanctions pressure be maintained on North Korea until its complete denuclearisation was achieved. He also said his administration is ready to lift the sanctions on North Korea, but asserted that Pyongyang has to be "responsive" to Washington.

North and South Korea have begun to remove landmines and destroy military bunkers at parts of their common border as part of efforts to improve long-strained relations. Kim agreed to travel to Seoul after hosting Moon in Pyongyang in September for their third summit this year.

The inspection is part of a summit agreement between the leaders of the Koreas, signed in April, to modernize and eventually reconnect rail systems across their border in a bid to foster reconciliation on the Korean Peninsula. While the United States insists on allowing inspectors to verify Pyongyang's commitment to the agreement, North Korea wants Washington to act in good faith and lift some of the sanctions.

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