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"The sanctions exemption has big implications given that the project has garnered recognition and support from the United States and the worldwide society", South Korea's presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom said at the time.

U.S. President Donald Trump said he expects to hold a second summit with North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un as soon as next month and that three locations are being considered.

New Zealand is the last stop in Moon's three-nation tour that began Tuesday with an unofficial visit to the Czech Republic, followed by a trip to Argentina for the annual Group of 20 summit.

The known demilitarized zone border between North and South Korea is considered the most secure in the world and hard to pass. The rare defection came as the two Koreas push ahead with a process of reconciliation in an effort to ease tensions, despite talks between Pyongyang and Washington on the North's nuclear weapons programme stalling.

Cho Myoung-gyon, who heads the Unification Ministry which oversees relations with North Korea, said the project was "intended to overcome division and open a new future of the Korean Peninsula".

The South Korean presidential office noted this week that the possibility of the summit occurring before the end of the year remains a possibility.

The pair "reaffirmed their commitment to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearisation" of North Korea, Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

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New Zealand won the first stage of the World Series in Colorado last month, and are now unbeaten in 36 consecutive matches. France stamped their authority in the first half as they scored two converted tries to take a 14-0 lead at the interval.

The US has urged North Korea to take concrete steps towards denuclearization, whereas Pyongyang has demanded guarantees for its survival before the signing of a peace treaty.

Differences have emerged between Washington and Seoul on how to proceed with Kim, as the dovish Moon has long favoured engagement with the North.

They have begun work to reconnect their railway systems, removed landmines and destroyed military bunkers at parts of the frontier.

"We're getting along very well, we have a good relationship", Trump also said.

They have also begun work to reconnect a train line and fix another rail link across the border. "Of course, Kim's visit could take place a bit late ... but I think it doesn't matter whether it would happen before the end of this year or not".

The Seoul government is sticking to its plan to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for inter-Korean railway and road connection projects this year as agreed upon by their leaders in September.

Moon agreed to enhance bilateral efforts to denuclearize North Korea after meeting with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday.


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