N. Korean soldier defects to South as Trump reaffirms 2nd summit plan

Charlene Craig
December 6, 2018

"We have a good relationship", Trump said.

Mr Trump added that at some point he would invite Mr Kim to the United States.

According to Moon, Trump would be inclined to meet Kim's demands if the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, discards its nuclear arsenal.

Trump and Kim met in June in a historic summit in Singapore aimed at curbing Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

US President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Mr Moon welcomed Mr Trump’s comments about a second summit with Kim Jong-un

"We're getting along very well".

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.

Speaking to reporters on Saturday as he left Argentina on his presidential plane, Moon reportedly said Trump had asked him to tell Kim that he "likes him" and will help the North Korean leader "get what he wants".

As Trump returned from the G20 summit of world leaders in Argentina over the weekend, he told reporters aboard Air Force One that a second summit may happen in 'January or February'.

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Trump and Moon also reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation of the DPRK, and agreed on the importance of "maintaining vigorous enforcement of existing sanctions to ensure the DPRK understands that denuclearisation is the only path to economic prosperity and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula".

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.

Last November, a North Korean soldier was critically wounded in the jointly controlled area after he fled to the South amid a hail of bullets fired by his former comrades.

The last defection involving North Koreans occurred in May when two civilians aboard a small boat defected to the South across the Yellow Sea.

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But at the moment Kim has little to gain since South Korea and the US are unwilling to ease sanctions before North Korea scraps its nuclear weapons.

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. The government here has been trying to rearrange the visit after discussing it with the U.S.

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