Two Koreas and UN forces agree to remove weapons at border


North and South Korea and the UN Command have agreed to withdraw firearms and guard posts in the demilitarised zone village of Panmunjom this week, Seoul’s defence ministry said, the latest move in a fast-improving relationship.

A second round of talks was held at Panmunjom to discuss ways in which the border can be disarmed.

The announcement comes amid US concerns that the inter-Korean military initiative could weaken defence readiness and comes without substantial progress on North Korea’s promised denuclearisation.

The neighbours are looking to withdraw 11 guard posts within a 1km radius of the military demarcation line on their border before year end.

They additionally also plan to pull out all firearms from a joint security area (JSA) at Panmunjom and cut to 35 each the numbers of personnel stationed there and share information on surveillance equipment.

At the meeting which was held on Monday, the three sides agreed to remove firearms and guard posts from the JSA by Thursday, and carry out a joint inspection over the following two days, the ministry said.

The agreement also includes a hold in “all hostile acts” and a no-fly zone around the border.

North and South Korea are still at war because the 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce as opposed to a peace treaty. However, over the years the relationship ties between the two countries have greatly improved.


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