North Korean soldier defects to the South at Joint Security Area: JCS


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.

Photos from the Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper, People's Daily, show Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting separately with Russian President Vladimir Putin and South Korean Moon Jae-in at the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam on November 11 and 12.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Xi have also agreed to deepen cooperation between the two countries on North Korea, Abe said on Saturday after meeting Xi.

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. I totally feel the same way", he said.

Hailing from Louisiana, the American reportedly came to the South three days ago and violated the line to enter the communist North for political purposes.

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The soldier crossed to South Korea from the North Korean side of the heavily guarded Joint Security Area (JSA) to Freedom House in the South, according to the JCS.

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

He also added that China sincerely hopes to improve the situation on the Peninsula, that could stimulate South Korea to resume dialogue and peaceful cooperation with the DPRK.

But Cui Zhiying, an worldwide relations professor at Tongji University in Shanghai, took a more cautious view. "Since China has not retracted its official position that THAAD damages its strategic interests, the THAAD issue continues to simmer and could still boil over under the right circumstances", said Lee Hui-ok, director of the Sungkyun Institute of China Studies.

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