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(LEAD) Two Koreas, UNC hold talks on disarming Panmunjom

Diplomacy 13:22 November 12, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with Army chief's inspection of guard post removal in last 5 paras; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- Military officials from South and North Korea and the United Nations Command (UNC) opened another round of working-level consultations Monday on disarming the truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the Ministry of National Defense said.

The trilateral session at the Freedom House located on the southern side of Panmunjom is meant to focus on the operation of surveillance equipment at the Joint Security Area (JSA) along the inter-Korean border.

The three sides have turned Panmunjom into a firearm-free zone under the comprehensive military agreement between the two Koreas signed in September during their summit talks in Pyongyang.

"In the working-level council meeting, (the three sides) will discuss the issue of adjusting surveillance equipment for disarming the JSA and ways to share information," the ministry said.

Following the talks, they plan to conduct a joint on-site survey on related devices until Tuesday, it added.

Work to destruct guard posts (GPs) along the inter-Korean border takes place in this photo provided by Yonhap News TV. (Yonhap)

South Korea's military also began mobilizing excavators to tear down its guard posts (GPs) along the DMZ under the tension-reducing deal with the North.

It has pulled out troops and their equipment from 11 GPs.

Gen. Kim Yong-woo, the top Army officer, visited Chorwon, Gangwon Province, where the destruction of a GP was underway.

He said the "irreversible demolition of GPs is the most tangible and symbolic measure to fundamentally prevent accidental clashes between South and North Korea and build confidence."

He added his troops will push for measures to fill in potential loopholes in their defense posture from the withdrawal and removal of the front-line GPs.


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