Koreas survey North's railways in hopes of joining networks

New guard post on the North Korean side of the Joint Security Area. Saturday’s escape occurred after both Koreas demolished front-line guard posts and swept for mines in a section of the Demilitarized Zone as part of an ambitious plan to disarm the area

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.

Seoul's Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) said he is safely in military custody.

About 30,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea, mostly traveling via China, since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War. He said denuclearization is important for a better future for the two Koreas, including reconciliation and reunification.

South Korean authorities plan to question the defector over the details of his escape.

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In November previous year, a North Korean soldier drove to the heavily guarded border at speed and ran across under a hail of bullets from his own side.

The Koreas and the US-led UN Command recently finished removing firearms and troops from a jointly controlled area at the border village of Panmunjom, and eventually plan to allow tourists to freely move around there.

In 2012, a North Korean soldier walked unchecked through rows of electrified fencing and surveillance cameras, prompting Seoul to sack three field commanders for the security lapse.

US President Donald Trump will grant North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un his wishes if he delivers on denuclearisation, the South Korean president said Sunday, following talks on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

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North and South Korea have begun to remove landmines and destroy military bunkers at parts of their common border as part of efforts to improve long-strained relations.

In his talks with Trump at the G-20 in Argentina, Moon earned some support for the Seoul summit from the USA leader - perhaps in a bid to entice Kim to make good on his pledge.

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.

Kim had been expected to visit Seoul in mid-December but the North asked for a delay citing internal affairs. After their third meeting in North Korea's capital of Pyongyang in September, Moon said Kim agreed to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul this year.

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