North Korean soldier defects to South

Hannah Rogers
December 2, 2018

"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.

President Trump said Saturday that his next face-to-face meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will likely be held in January or February, at a site yet to be determined.

- Kim visit to Seoul this year? He added that the two Koreas would seek additional surveys later on if necessary. 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.

Sanctions enforced by the United Nations Security Council and the US prohibit sending fuel or conducting economic activities that could generate cash for Kim's regime.

Already with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump spoke about the need to work together with the global community to "keep up the pressure until North Korea implements its commitment to denuclearization". The first will go through central North Korea and along the northwestern coast to the city of Sinuiju near the Chinese border.

Twenty-eight South Korean officials including people from the unification, and land, infrastructure and transport ministries will inspect the 400-kilometer section from Gaeseong to Sinuiju through December 5. From Seoul Station to Dorasan Station, they took the same train that went into the North.

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"Through the one connected railway, the South and the North will prosper together and the ground for peace on the Korean Peninsula will be consolidated".

"This signals the start of co-prosperity of the North and the South by reconnecting railways", Transport Minister Kim Hyun-mee said. The six cars are comprised of quarters for passengers, offices and sleeping, along with other areas reserved for fuel, generator and other equipment. Seoul took 55,000 liters (14,529 gallons) of diesel, a UN-sanctioned item, to the North for the journey.

On board is a team of South Korean experts investigating ways to help North Korea modernise its rail network.

The 28 experts will live on the train for the next 18 days while inspecting 1,200km (745 miles) of track and railway infrastructure. The South Korean locomotive returned home on Friday.

The South Korean military spotted the suspected defector crossing the military demarcation line that separates the border.

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