(ATTN: UPDATES lead paras with S. Korean commander's comments)
SEOUL, Nov. 1 (Yonhap) -- The armed forces of South and North Korea are at the forefront of the peace process with the implementation of a bilateral confidence-building pact Thursday, the South's top military officer said.
The two sides ceased all "hostile acts" against each other along the border -- land, sea and air -- as of the start of the day in accordance with the comprehensive military agreement (CMA), Army Gen. Park Han-ki, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters, as he toured Yeonpyeong Island, just south of the Yellow Sea border between the two Koreas.
He described it as "taking the first step on a new path for peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula."
"Now, our military will stand at the forefront of peace," he added, reaffirming a commitment to abiding by the CMA signed on Sept. 19 during the summit talks between President Moon Jae-in and his counterpart Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.
The pact calls for the creation of buffer zones in border areas aimed at preventing accidental clashes and avoiding war.
The two sides are prohibited from conducting live-fire artillery drills and regiment-level field maneuvering exercises or those by bigger units within 5 kilometers of the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).
No-fly zones have been established along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) as well to ban the operation of drones, helicopters and other aircraft over an area up to 40 km away from the MDL.
The Koreas created peace zones near their disputed Yellow Sea border.
"North Korea has implemented measures to stop hostile acts in accordance with the military agreement, including the recent closure of coastline artillery," the South's Ministry of National Defense said.
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