Trump says next meeting with North Korea's Kim likely in early 2019

Geneva Stokes
December 2, 2018

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.

During the surveys, a North Korean train engine will pull six South Korean cars - including passenger and sleeping cars, a power-generator auto and a fuel tanker - to test operability. About 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly traveling via China, since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The defection came just over a year after another North Korean soldier dashed across the border in the truce village of Panmunjom under a hail of gunfire from his former comrades.

"We're getting along very well".

Despite Trump's optimism, talks between the United States and North Korea have somewhat stalled since the historic breakthrough summit in Singapore in June, in which the leaders agreed on the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

According to several Western media outlets, Trump told them aboard Air Force One after attending the Group of 20 (G20) summit that the meeting would occur early in 2019.

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"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.

Nevertheless, with talks between the United States and North Korea stalling, the government in Seoul is keen to show progress in its own peace process with Pyongyang.

The Trump-Kim summit in June of this year was created to help ease the tensions between the two nations - though critics have questioned whether North Korea has complied with agreements reached at the historic meeting.

They have also begun work to reconnect a train line and fix another rail link across the border.

Pyongyang and Washington have repeatedly accused each other of failing to honour the vague agreements about denuclearisation they made at their landmark summit in Singapore in June.

Despite the warming ties, it remains unclear whether Kim will make his first-ever visit to the South this year, as Seoul is hoping. "The two leaders agreed Chairman Kim Jong Un's visit to Seoul would provide additional momentum to their joint efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula", Moon's chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said.

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