SEOUL, South Korea – The two Koreas will be exchanging inspection teams on both sides of the heavily-armed border next week to check the work each is doing to remove some of their guard posts from the border. front, the Seoul Ministry of Defense said Thursday.
In recent weeks, North Korea and South Korea have each dismantled or disarmed 11 of their border guard posts as part of agreements to reduce the tensions that had been encountered at the summit of their leaders at Pyongyang in September.
Deputy Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk told reporters that the two Koreas had agreed to carry out a one-day check on the guard post sites next Wednesday. He added that Korea will each send 11 military inspection teams to the 11 sites of the other.
Suh said the mutual verification is a proof of trust established between the two armies.
The dismantled or disarmed guard posts were located in the 155-mile (155-mile) demilitarized zone, the strip of land that divides the Korean Peninsula in two. Contrary to its name, it is the most heavily reinforced border in the world, with about 2 million landmines and has been the scene of many cases of violence and bloodshed.
Under the September agreements, the Koreas also took steps to demilitarize the shared border village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone, ended the live fire exercises along the border and proceeded to mine removal in order to conduct joint research to find the dead dead during the Korean War.
These measures provoked a violent reaction from many South Korean conservatives, who claim that the South Korean Liberal government led by President Moon Jae-in should not have accepted such conventional arms reduction programs. at a time when North Korea's nuclear threats remain unchanged. The latest dismantling of guard posts would leave South Korea with about 50 such posts and North Korea, 150, according to South Korean defense experts.
US-led diplomacy on North Korea's nuclear program has made little progress in recent months, as skepticism grew over North Korea's vague commitment to nuclear disarmament.
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