2nd LD: S.Korea, DPRK agree to conduct joint railway inspection

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The State Department, however, said they "look forward to Chairman Kim fulfilling his commitments", without any sign that the U.S. will be doing anything in return.

The US has wound back its joint military exercises with South Korea, and North Korea has halted all missile and nuclear testing.

Until now, North and South Korea have always submitted separate bids for recognition on the Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Seoul's Defense Ministry confirmed the dismantling of 10 North Korean guard posts and said North Korean soldiers had used hammers to tear down sections ahead of last week's near-simultaneous demolitions.

FILE _ North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, Sept. 16, 2017.

"We are now discussing the matter with the North".

The North Korean leader in September presented a pair of dogs, from a breed called pungsan, to President Moon Jae-in when he visited Pyongyang for the third inter-Korean summit.

Last week the two announced that they had connected a road across their shared border for the first time in 14 years, while earlier this month the South gifted the North hundreds of tons of tangerines in exchange for mushrooms.

The Security Council approved the exemptions Friday, allowing the two Koreas to jointly conduct a survey on reconnecting their railways.

After arriving at Panmun Station at 9 a.m., a North Korean locomotive will take the six South Korean carriages to the North.

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Seoul's plan to conduct the survey with Pyongyang stalled in recent months over concerns that it might violate United Nations sanctions that restricted shipment of goods to North Korea. It has joined the two Koreas at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang (Indonesia). She added that Stephen Biegun, the USA special representative for North Korea, is "leading those conversations", but that such conversations, are happening "at various levels, from the secretary level to Steve Biegun's level to the working level".

-North Korea negotiations and that Washington and Seoul are keeping in step.

The Trump administration, however, shows no sign of making any concessions to North Korea.

Twenty-eight officials from the South will take part in the inspections, including officials from the unification and land ministries, and of the Korea Railroad Corporation and Korea Rail Network Authority. "It reminds us of the peace-building power of cultural heritage", UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay said.

The Foal Eagle military drills are clearly a rehearsal for war with North Korea. Although delayed this year so as not coincide with the Winter Olympics in South Korea, these war games involved more than 300,000 US and South Korean troops backed by artillery, heavy armour, warships and military aircraft.

If the exercises proceed next year, they will certainly provoke an angry response from Pyongyang.

In October, reports suggested that North was preparing several of its nuclear and missile test sites for worldwide inspections. The second Trump-Kim summit is not expected to be held at least until January.

He also offered to dismantle the nuclear facilities in Yongbyon if the United States "takes corresponding measures".