N. Korean Soldier Crosses MDL, Defects to S. Korea

Hugh Fox
December 6, 2018

North Korea agreed to work toward the "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", during summit with the South and an unprecedented meeting between Kim and Trump in June.

"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 remain unchanged in our stance that (Kim's visit) will be possible and necessary before the end of this year", Baik Tae-hyun, a ministry spokesman, told a regular press briefing.

"We're not having missiles launched, there haven't been any nuclear tests", Pompeo noted, citing a change in behavior from North Korea, which conducted a series of missile tests in 2017 that alarmed its closest neighbors - and had the USA concerned that Pyongyang was developing the capability to strike any site on the continental U.S.

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On November 7, the State Department announced that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting with Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee, which had been scheduled for November 8 in NY, would "take place at a later date".

During the G20 summit, Trump met South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and agreed to stay firm in the application of sanctions on Pyongyang until it takes significant steps towards denuclearization.

The pair "reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation" of North Korea, Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

North Korea is seeking security guarantees from the USA and relief from global sanctions.

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In recent months, however, the two sides have begun to remove landmines and destroy military bunkers at parts of the border as part of efforts to improve long-strained relations. Re-connection of train line are in progress with another rail which links across the border.

If Seoul gets Washington's understanding on Kim's visit, Moon will attempt to persuade Kim to visit Seoul this year, the report said.

Kim had been expected to visit Seoul in mid-December but the North asked for a delay citing internal affairs.

Moon said Kim's visit exclusively "depends on his decision".

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Speaking in Buenos Aires, where he discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula with Moon, Trump said he hoped to organize a follow-up meeting with Kim for early 2019.

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