Wednesday, 12 December, 2018

Trump says meeting with DPRK's top leader Kim likely early next year

A South Korean soldier stands next to the train about to travel across the border into North Korea at the Dorasan Station in Paju South Korea Friday. The train pulled six cars filled with dozens of South Korean expert and officials who will undertake South Korea to send trains to North Korea in joint survey to connect railways separated since Korean War
Gerardo Duncan | 02 December, 2018, 13:14

"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.

The White House said in a statement on Saturday after Trump's meeting with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, that they and Kim would strive "to see a nuclear free Korean Peninsula".

He also said he'd like to invite Kim to the United States at some point.

In June, Trump and Kim opened up dialogue on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula after months of trading military threats and pointed barbs.

A South Korean train departed for North Korea on Friday for an 18-day joint railway inspection that the Koreas are conducting as part of efforts to modernize, and eventually reconnect, rail lines across their border.

"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. He also said his administration is ready to lift the sanctions on North Korea, but asserted that Pyongyang has to be "responsive" to Washington.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in is determined that this railway project will go ahead, says our correspondent.

"They have agreed to maintain the vigorous implementation of existing sanctions to ensure that North Korea understands that denuclearization is the only way to economic prosperity and lasting peace on the Korean peninsula", he added.

Since the Korean leaders held talks for the first time in April, they have been trying to ease tensions along the border.

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.

Despite the warming ties, it remains unclear whether Kim will make his first-ever visit to the South this year, as Seoul is hoping. Kim agreed to travel to Seoul after hosting Moon in Pyongyang in September for their third summit this year. 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.

Moon's top press secretary, Yoon Young-chan, was quoted by the South's Yonhap news agency saying that Trump "asked that South Korea and the US closely cooperate so the next summit will be another historical milestone in the process of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula".

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