Railway officials from North and South Korea work together to connect the rails between the two Koreas at Panmun Station in Kaesong on Wednesday at a joint ceremony to break ground on a project to reconnect their railways and roads.
Nevertheless, both Japan and South Korea do attach importance to cooperation over issues including countering North Korean threats, and officials of the two countries do share the view that it is more important to settle the dispute than get to the bottom of the radar incident. Representatives from China, Russia and Mongolia were also present, as were officials from the United Nations including Armida Alisjahbana, executive secretary of the UN's Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.
The ceremony was another example of the thaw in relations between the Koreas, technically still at war after their conflict ended in a truce not a peace treaty.
This also marked the first time for a South Korean train to run from Mount Kumgang to the Tumen River on the North's east coast since the peninsula was divided following the 1950-53 Korean War.
In Kim Jong Un's forthcoming New Year's Day address, Ryu said there is a possibility that the North Korean leader "will not emphasize North Korea being a nuclear sate as a gesture to the US and South Korea [and] that it is still interested in holding talks and advancing negotiations with the hope of removing sanctions on Pyongyang". "Whereas the United States chooses to slap sanctions on North Korea for complete denuclearization, South Korea's strategy is to gradually push for denuclearization by offering multiple carrots for motivation while keeping good relations with the North", Park Hyung-joong, head researcher of North Korea policy department at Korea Institute of National Unification, told ABC News.
North Korea's vice railways minister Kim Yun-hyok on his part called for overcoming the unfriendly worldwide atmosphere. North Korea attended the Olympic Game, held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang in February, an event that offered a diplomatic breakthrough to improve the inter-Korean relationship.
The chairman of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party Lee Hae-han attended the event along with Ri Son-gwon, chief of the North Korean state agency in charge of unification affairs.
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South and North Korean officials sign a concrete railway tie during the ceremony.
But he said the future of Moon's plans for connecting the railways rests with North Korea.
The development came after Korean leaders agreed in April to foster balanced development and co-prosperity on the peninsula.
Kim made a vaguely worded commitment to denuclearise during his summit with Donald Trump in Singapore in June, but the countries have not held follow-up talks for several months.
The film starts with a series of pictures of Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and photos of North-South Korean summits this year. But followup nuclear talks between Washington and Pyongyang have stalled for months over the sequencing of the denuclearization that Washington wants and the removal of global sanctions desired by Pyongyang.
In a December 24 press conference, a South Korean defense official acknowledged that a camera attached alongside the radar was used to look for a North Korean fishing boat in distress, but the radar itself was powered down.