Monday, 27 May, 2019

The two Koreas began to demolish the stations on the common border

Defense Chief Some 4,600 Mines and Other Explosives Destroyed in DMZ South Korea ships tangerines to North, which sent mushrooms
Deanna Wagner | 12 November, 2018, 17:45

The South Korean government has approved a visit by seven North Korean officials to the South later this week to attend an worldwide peace forum, the Ministry of Unification said Monday.

Sole surviving plaintiff Lee Chun Sik (C) attends a press conference in Seoul on October 30, 2018, after South Korea's Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling from several years earlier ordering Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal compensate four South Koreans who were victims of forced labor during Japanese colonial rule.

At a summit in Pyongyang in September, the two Korean agreed to disarm the Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom, disarm 11 DMZ guard posts on a trial basis and conduct a joint excavation of soldiers killed during the war.

The two countries technically remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War that divided the peninsula but the conflict ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace declaration. The DMZ has been heavily fortified with minefields, guard posts, concrete walls and electric fences.

In September, both Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in Pyongyang for their third summit where the leaders laid out a wide-scale plan to ease tensions along the border.

While the two Koreas had originally agreed to destroy a total of 22 guard posts, the two sides' militaries chose to preserve one guard post on each side of the DMZ for their historic value.

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The South Korean Defense Ministry official said soldiers on Saturday completed disarming 11 guard posts on the southern side of the DMZ.

The Koreas also in the September deal agreed to create buffer zones along their land and sea boundaries and a no-fly zone above the border, which took effect on November 1.

The Koreas and the U.S. -led U.N. Command recently finished removing firearms and troops from a jointly controlled area at the border village of Panmunjom and eventually plan to allow tourists to freely move around there.

The tangerine airlifting is a sign that the two Koreas are pushing ahead with efforts to improve ties despite a stalemated global diplomacy on North Korea's nuclear program.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has opted for a policy of engagement with the isolated neighbour, which has a stockpile of nuclear weapons.