Saturday, 20 October, 2018

North and South Korea removing landmines along border

More than 1 million landmines were laid in border areas including the DMZ and the Civilian Control Zone in the South Rex_Wholster via Getty Images More than 1 million landmines were laid in border areas including the DMZ and the Civilian Control Zone in the South
| 02 October, 2018, 16:39

An editorial in a state-run North Korean newspaper said a declaration replacing the 65-year-old armistice to formally end the war "is not just a gift from a man to another".

The agreement between the nations - which are technically still at war - to demine was reached at a meeting in Pyongyang last month between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un.

Since President Trump and Kim Jong Un's summit in June, the two leaders have issued a series of statements in English.

In a commentary, KCNA said on Tuesday that declaring the war's end should have "been resolved half a century ago", and called it "the most basic and primary process for the establishment of new DPRK-US relations and peace" on the Korean peninsula "to which the US was also committed,", referring to North Korea by its official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

In the South, troops began removing mines on the southern part of the two sites on Monday morning. It refused to provide further details. But Trump, Pompeo and other US officials have recently reported progress in denuclearization discussions with the North. Pompeo is to make his third trip to North Korea soon.

In a statement, the South Korean government said the two sides agreed to remove all landmines in the so-called Joint Security Area (JSA) in Panmunjom within the next 20 days.

During his summit with Kim last month, the two leaders also agreed to remove some guard posts at the border by the end of the year and halt military drills on the border from November.

More than a million landmines were laid in border areas including the DMZ and the Civilian Control Zone in the South, say demining experts, and civilians and soldiers alike have been killed or injured by them.


Extremely heavy fighting took place in October 1952 in a place known as "Arrow Head Hill".

KCNA said that Pyongyang was willing to take "such. steps as eternal dismantlement" of its nuclear complex "if the United States takes a corresponding measure" but again did not elaborate.

Mines dislodged by flooding and landslides have occasionally caused deaths in front-line areas in South Korea.

North Korea has called on the USA to actively engage in talks on declaring an end to the Korean War, which was halted in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

"It's the start of peace".

It is also closely guarded by tens of thousands of troops on both sides, making it nearly impossible to walk across.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in says recent military agreements will "end all hostile acts at the land, sea and sky between South and North Korea".

Moon has advocated dialogue with the isolated North to nudge it toward denuclearisation.

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