Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Close  
  • share this

Koreas, UN to withdraw weapons, guard posts along key border area

/ 08:33 AM October 23, 2018

North Korean soldiers (left) look at the Southside of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea on October 27, 2017. AFP FILE

SEOUL, South Korea – The two Koreas and the US-led United Nations Command agreed Monday to demilitarize a section of the heavily fortified border dividing the peninsula by this week, as a diplomatic thaw gathers pace.

“The three parties agreed to carry out measures to withdraw firearms and guard posts at the Joint Security Area (JSA) by October 25,” Seoul’s defense ministry said in a statement following trilateral talks.

ADVERTISEMENT

They will then conduct a “three-way joint verification” for the following two days, it added.

The JSA, also known as the truce village of Panmunjom, is the only spot along the tense, 250-kilometre (155-mile) frontier where troops from the two countries stand face to face.

FEATURED STORIES

It was a designated neutral zone until the “axe murder incident” in 1976, when North Korean soldiers attacked a work party trying to chop down a tree inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), leaving two US army officers dead.

South and North Korea — which are technically still at war — agreed to take measures to ease military tensions on their border at a meeting in Pyongyang last month between President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un.

Earlier this month, the two sides began removing landmines at the JSA — which is now often used for talks between the two Koreas — as part of the deal, which was confirmed “complete” at Monday’s talks.

The September summit was the third this year between the leaders as a remarkable rapprochement takes hold on the peninsula.

Moon has advocated engagement with the isolated North to nudge it toward denuclearization.

Monday’s talks were the second meeting of a trilateral JSA commission made up of the two Koreas and the UN Command, which is included as it retains jurisdiction over the southern half of the JSA.

Its chief, US general Vincent Brooks, told reporters in August that as UN commander he supported initiatives that could reduce military tensions.

ADVERTISEMENT

But he added that as commander of the combined US-South Korean forces — one of his other roles — he felt there was a “reasonable degree of risk” in Seoul’s plans to dismantle guard posts near the DMZ. /cbb

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: DMZ, Joint Security Area, Koreas, news, Panmunjom, UN
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

IN THE KNOW: What is glutathione?

November 21, 2018 02:58 AM

usa

Playwright Alberto S. Florentino, 1931-2018

November 21, 2018 01:05 AM

usa

Can PH Catholic education be saved?

November 21, 2018 01:04 AM



© Copyright 1997-2018 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.