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US President Donald Trump said yesterday he hoped to organise a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in early 2019, perhaps as soon as January or February.

The Koreas plan to hold a groundbreaking ceremony by the end of the year on an ambitious project to connect their railways and roads as agreed by their leaders.

The statement said Xi and Trump "agreed that great progress has been made with respect to North Korea". First, the two sides will survey a section of the line connecting Kaesong, a North Korean city near the MDL, and Sinuiju, a city near the Chinese border.

"As he promised, President Moon should invite Kim to Seoul and convince him" of making headway in the stalled denuclearization talks, former Unification Minster Jeong Se-hyun said during a meeting with liberal politicians on Saturday.

A North Korean soldier reportedly defected to South Korea at around 7:56 a.m. local time on Saturday. The soldier had crossed the military demarcation line on Friday morning (local time) and should now be heard, it was said.

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.

Last month, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo's planned meeting with a senior North Korean official was canceled at the last minute. Fifty-six South Korean officials will participate in the surveys, 28 each for the inspections on the western and eastern sections, the ministry said.

They ran cargo train services between Dorasan Station and Panmun Station for about a year until 2008, when they came to a halt amid frozen inter-Korean relations.

More than 30,000 North Koreans have fled to the South since the 1950-53 war on the peninsula ended in an armistice instead of a peace treaty.

Pence has also said it was essential that worldwide sanctions pressure be maintained on North Korea until its complete denuclearisation was achieved.

Appreciating Kim's upcoming visit to Seoul, Trump noted that the trip may create new momentum for efforts to denuclearize North Korea and establish peace on the Korean Peninsula, according to Yonhap News Agency.

"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.