North Korean soldier defects to South - South's military

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In June, Trump and Kim opened up dialogue on denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula after months of trading military threats and pointed barbs.

"President Trump asked me to forward to [Kim] these messages; he has a very friendly view of Chairman Kim Jong Un and likes him".

South Korean soldiers close gate near the rails leading to North Korea, inside demilitarized zone.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in is determined that this railway project will go ahead, says our correspondent. Moon and Trump met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina.

"We're getting along very well".

Trump said on Sunday that he also expected to hold his own meeting with Kim, which he told reporters would likely take place in early 2019, with the president asserting that he planned to invite Kim to the some point as well.

But the line has since then been put out of service due to heightened tension over the North's nuclear development programme.

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"We have a good relationship", Mr Trump told reporters on Air Force One as he returned from the G20 summit.

The current railway project has also faced delays over concerns it could violate United Nations sanctions imposed on the North over its nuclear and missile programmes.

It added that no particular movements have been spotted from the North Korean military in the frontline area.

If Seoul gets Washington's understanding on Kim's visit, Moon will attempt to persuade Kim to visit Seoul this year, the report said. Ban said he hopes the summit will occur at a time when the worldwide community feels confident about North Korea's commitment to denuclearization.

After their third meeting in Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, in September, Moon said Kim agreed to make a reciprocal visit to Seoul this year.

North Korea had entered into agreements with regional powers in 1994 and in 2005 to dismantle its nuclear program in return for economic benefits and diplomatic rewards, but those deals broke down after Pyongyang clandestinely continued to pursue building weapons of mass destruction.

The Kaesong factory park was shut down under the South's previous conservative government in February 2016 following a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.