S.Korea’s Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

Moon and Kim have met three times in 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 04 December 2018
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S.Korea’s Moon still hopes to host Kim this year

  • Moon said a visit by Kim to the South would also improve US-North Korea relations
  • Moon emphasised the impact Kim’s presence in South Korea would have on the two nations

AUCKLAND: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could still visit Seoul for the first time in the next few weeks, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Tuesday, describing the possible trip as a major boost in efforts to make the peninsula nuclear-free.
Moon and Kim have met three times in 2018 amid warming ties between the two Koreas, with Seoul hoping to host a first-ever visit by Kim to the South before year’s end.
But prospects of another meeting in coming weeks have dimmed as denuclearization talks have stalled, prompting Moon to say that the planned visit’s timing should not overshadow its historic nature.
“There is a possibility that Chairman Kim Jong Un’s visit to Seoul may be made within this year, but there’s more important things than the timing,” he said in translated remarks during a visit to New Zealand.
“Whether it’s this year or not isn’t that important, what’s important is that the North Korea leader’s visit to South Korea will definitely accelerate the denuclearization process in the Korean peninsula.”
Moon said a visit by Kim to the South would also improve US-North Korea relations as Kim and President Donald Trump look to follow up their June summit in Singapore.
“I believe that our efforts will definitely give a positive impetus to the second US-North Korea summit meeting,” he said.
“President Trump and I share a view in that regard.”
Moon emphasised the impact Kim’s presence in South Korea would have on the two nations.
“This will be the first time that the North Korean leader will visit South Korea since Korea was divided into two countries,” he said.
“Although there’s no timeframe set, that’s still very meaningful. We can improve South and North Korean relations as well as attain permanent peace on the Korean peninsula and denuclearization.”
North and South Korea have begun to remove land mines and destroy some military bunkers along their common border as part of the detente.
However, Washington is taking a more cautious approach toward Pyongyang amid sparring over interpretation of a vaguely worded denuclearization document signed at the Singapore summit.
Trump said on Saturday that he hoped to organize a second summit with Kim in early 2019.


Indian forces kills 5 insurgents, 12-year-old boy in Kashmir

Updated 45 min 4 sec ago
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Indian forces kills 5 insurgents, 12-year-old boy in Kashmir

  • The bodies were found after an exchange of gunfire that started in northern Bandipora district Thursda
  • Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989

SRINAGAR, India: Indian security forces say they have killed five militants and one civilian in gunbattles in the Indian-controlled portion of Kashmir.
Army spokesman Rajesh Kalia says security forces have found the bodies of two insurgents and a 12-year-old boy after an exchange of gunfire that started in northern Bandipora district Thursday.
Two insurgents were killed in western Baramulla district and another in southern Shopian area separately during cordon and search operations by security forces, Kalia and police said Friday.
A grenade attack by insurgents wounded three police officers in Sopore area Thursday, police said.
Insurgents have been fighting for Kashmir’s independence from India or its merger with neighboring Pakistan since 1989. India and Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the region in its entirety.