North Korean soldier defects to South by walking across treacherous demilitarised zone

According to Reuters, South Korean authorities said that the drone had apparently crashed while flying back to North Korea after shooting photos of an advanced us anti-missile battery located in South Korea.

The statement was laid out in Yeouido, western Seoul, during his congratulatory remarks in a ceremony that marked the 17th anniversary of the June 15th North-South Joint Declaration, signed between former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-il.

"But it turns out that the North has said one thing but has done another by trying to develop its nuclear and missile programs", he added.

The South Korean government is considering a plan to separate trade talks with the US from the upcoming summit meeting between President Moon Jae-in and his USA counterpart Donald Trump later this month to focus on pressing security issues, including North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs. The agreement was not a peace treaty and, technically, war could resume between the United States and North Korea.

In the midst of the conciliatory gesture, however, Moon spared no time in pressing the North to denuclearize.

In a telephone conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 30, Moon stressed the need to keep delivering a message to the North that dialogue is possible if it abandons its nuclear weapons development program.

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He noted North Korea has recently called for Seoul to honor and implement inter-Korean summit agreements reached on June 15, 2000, and October 4, 2007. Seoul is closely watching how these separate channels are working now, the official said.

South Korea is reporting a recent uptick in the number of defections from the North, though military defections don't occur very often.

It lambasted Seoul's stance that any humanitarian support to the North and exchanges at the private level would be reviewed within the bounds of global sanctions against the regime, saying, "Private human-to-human dialogue and exchanges must be independent" from any political issues between the two countries.

Pyongyang threatened that the South-North confrontation will eventually lead to "physical conflict", and that by then, both countries would be "compelled to choose reunification [the] non-peaceful way".

He was speaking at a ceremony in Seoul on Thursday to mark the 17th anniversary of the historic inter-Korean summit in 2000. Trashing Moon's "kowtowing to big countries for no good reason", Pyongyang demanded that Seoul stop siding with Washington by applying sanctions and pressure against the regime.

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