North Korean soldier defects at Joint Security Area

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North Korean soldier defects at Joint Security Area

Kang Kyung-wha is to visit Beijing "as early as next week" to discuss detailed preparations for the third summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping scheduled for next month, according to the source.

The leaders of South Korea and China on Saturday agreed on the need to manage the security situation on the Korean peninsula in a stable way and to resolve North Korea-related tensions peacefully after a summit meeting, the South's presidential office said. Moon also asked the Chinese leader to visit the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games in South Korea next year, and Xi responded, "I will make efforts to visit South Korea".

Bong Young-shik, an expert on regional relations at South Korea's Yonsei University, said: "China's economic retaliation only pushed Korea closer into the trilateral alliance between Japan and the US".

A USA citizen was arrested by South Korean police Monday for crossing the Civilian Control Line near the inter-Korean border without a permit in an alleged attempt to enter North Korea, authorities concerned said.

The sabre-rattling has complicated China's relations with South Korea.

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On October 31, the two countries agreed to normalise relations, and Seoul said last week it was not considering any additional deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system.

Xi was quoted as saying it would be "new beginnings and a good start" by Yoon.

Officials are seeking to resume an annual summit between China, Japan and South Korea, which was scheduled for July but postponed as Beijing and Tokyo locked horns over maritime sovereignty in the East China Sea, and China and South Korea squabbled over THAAD.

"Our military has taken in a North Korean soldier after he crossed from a North Korea post towards our Freedom House", the statement said, referring to a building on the South side of the village which is bisected by the border.

Trump held talks with Xi on Thursday, which led to the signing of business deals worth more than US$253 billion.

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