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S.Korea starts demolishing guard posts inside DMZ

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A South Korean soldier stands guard while others remove and mines inside of the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) on October 2, 2018 in Cheorwon, South Korea. S. Korea has started demolishing guard posts inside the DMZ as part of the Sept. 19 military agreement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Reuters

SEOUL (Xinhua) – South Korea’s army has started demolishing guard posts inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), which has left the Korean Peninsula divided since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with armistice, on a trial basis.

It was part of efforts to implement the Sept. 19 military agreement with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), which was signed by defense chiefs of the two Koreas during the Pyongyang summit in September between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea and the DPRK on Sunday completed the withdrawal of firearms, equipment and soldiers from 11 guard posts each along the inter-Korean border on a trial basis, according to Seoul’s defense ministry.

Among the total, the two sides agreed to reserve one guard post, respectively.

South Korea’s military planned to destroy the 10 guard posts by mobilising excavators, rather than using explosives, to preserve the environment inside the DMZ and secure safety of the soldiers.

The demolition works planned to be completed by the end of this month. After the completion, the two Koreas will go through a verification process in December, according to the Seoul ministry.

South Korea and the DPRK have agreed to eliminate all guard posts inside the DMZ after the pilot demolition works.

Inside the DMZ, South Korea and the DPRK reportedly have about 60 and 160 guard posts each.

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