[Newsmaker] Complete dismantlement of 20 guard posts in DMZ underway

Lester Mason
November 12, 2018

On Monday, military engineers using construction equipment started tearing down 20 entrenched DMZ guard posts in a pilot project.

The guard post preserved by North Korea is located about 350 meters away from the South Korea-controlled area inside the DMZ. Chinese soldiers fought for North Korea.

According to South Korea's defense ministry, . the two sides completed the withdrawal of firearms and troops from the guard posts on Sunday.

But critics say the South risks conceding some of its conventional military strength before North Korea takes any meaningful steps on denuclearization - an anxiety that's growing as the larger nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang seemingly drift into a stalemate.

The operation to remove mines began on October 1 in two border areas - one in Cheorwon and the other in the truce village of Panmunjom.

The reconciliatory measure comes as the former war-time foes look to ease tensions and with increased diplomatic engagements.

And, ironically, according to the Times, the sanctions that Trump touts are harming North Korea because Pyongyang has resumed trade with Russian Federation and China based largely on its better ties with the US and its stated commitment to eventual denuclearization.

Seoul is pushing ahead with a rapprochement with the nuclear-armed North while its security ally the United States insists pressure on Pyongyang should be maintained until it denuclearises.

After September's inter-Korean summit talks in Pyongyang, North Korea gave South Korea 2 tons of pine mushrooms as a goodwill gesture.

The two countries technically remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War that divided the peninsula but the conflict ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace declaration. Kim Jong-un visited the frontline post in 2013, when tension was high between the two Koreas. This apparently was at the behest of North Korea, as they wanted to keep a post that Kim Jong-un had visited in 2013.

Last week North Korea called off a planned meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY "because they weren't ready", US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article