Pyongyang’s Kim to meet a bunch of world leaders

By BLOOMBERG

SEOUL • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is planning an unprecedented flurry of summits with world leaders, as he steps up his push to ease sanctions four months after a landmark meeting with US President Donald Trump.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in told Parliament yesterday that Kim would likely visit Russia and South Korea “soon”, while he expected Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit Pyongyang in the near future.

Moon, who made the remarks while outlining next year’s budget, said the North Korean leader could also possibly hold a separate meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Yesterday, the heavily fortified border separating North and South Korea saw some of the biggest physical changes yet resulting from the historic rapprochement between the two leaders. Kim and Moon’s agreement in September to cease all “hostile activities” on the border, including live-fire drills and field training, took effect yesterday.

The deal “established a crucial turning point to reduce military tensions, to pave way for trust-building and to end threats of real war”, Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security advisor, told a briefing yesterday. South Korea moved its exercises away from the military demarcation line, which serves as a land border, and covered or shut down the artillery near their sea boundary.

North Korea also recently shut down some artillery installations near the western sea border.