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(2nd LD) Koreas agree to verify withdrawal of border guard posts on Dec. 12

All Headlines 15:26 December 06, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS 3rd para for clarity)

SEOUL, Dec. 6 (Yonhap) -- The two Koreas have agreed to verify their recent work to withdraw 11 border guard posts through onsite visits next week, Seoul's defense ministry said Thursday.

They will each form a seven-member verification team for each guard post, subject to their pullout agreement, for the verification task on Wednesday.

As part of the September military accord aimed at reducing tensions and building trust, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to demolish 11 guard posts each in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), but decided later to disarm and keep one of them each for its historical value.

"The verification will be a display of trust that the Koreas' military authorities have built through the process of implementing the military accord," Seoul's Vice Defense Minister, Suh Choo-suk, told a press conference.

"This is a very exemplary case in international arms control efforts, and will contribute to dispelling some concerns over the enforcement of the accord," he added.

Each verification team, led by a colonel-level officer, will consist of five verification personnel and two filming staff. The two sides will also build a cross-border path to facilitate each team's one-day verification work.

In the morning, South Korea will verify the North's guard posts, while the North will check the South's in the afternoon.

The Koreas' defense ministers signed the military accord after the third summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.

The bilateral military accord includes a series of confidence building and conventional arms control measures, such as disarming the Joint Security Area in the DMZ and setting up air, ground and maritime buffer zones to prevent accidental clashes.

This image, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows the two Koreas' efforts to withdraw some border guard posts. (Yonhap)

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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