North Korean Soldier Defects Across Border, Says South Korea's Military

Posted December 02, 2018

A South Korean train with a sign reading "Seoul to Sinuiju" crossed into the North, Friday, for a long-stalled joint inspection of railway sections there.

At Panmun Station across the border, a North Korean engine took over to take them further north.

The South Koreans and their counterparts will live in the train, inspecting two railway lines for a total of 18 days - one linking the North's southernmost Kaesong City to Sinuiju City near the Chinese border, and the other connecting Mount Kumgang near the inter-Korean border to Tumen River bordering Russian Federation in the east. She added the railway reconnection would help expand the country´s "economic territory" to Eurasia by land, as the division of the Korean peninsula has left South Korea geopolitically cut off from the continent for many decades.

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At Kaesong, South Korea's locomotive was swapped with North Korea's, and three North Korean cars which Seoul's Unification Ministry did not immediately specify were attached to the six South Korean cars.

This will be the first time a South Korean train will run on tracks from Mount Geumgang to the Tumen River since the Koreas became divided in 1945. Officials will inspect the 800 kilometers from Mount Geumgang to the Tumen River from December 8 through 17. The initiative is part of this year's ongoing inter-Korean collaboration projects. She said any remaining fuel will be brought back to the South.

Those events, combined with a recent North Korean threat to renew overt nuclear development should Washington continue opposing sanctions relief, suggested to many analysts that the countries are having problems seeing eye-to-eye, calling into question when a second summit might take place.

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The statement said Xi and Trump "agreed that great progress has been made with respect to North Korea".

"The President spoke [with Moon] about his intention to hold a second summit between the United States and North Korea", said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, recalling the first summit between the two leaders in Singapore, in July of this year.

The US has given its support to the rail survey, but Mr Moon will have to have a number of hard conversations if he's to persuade President Donald Trump that easing sanctions at this stage would be worthwhile so the project can go ahead, our correspondent says.

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"The ceremony was attended by lawmakers representing the ruling and opposition parties".