This is the first step of disarmament on the signed Pyongyang Declaration in mid-September.
North and South Korea will begin to disarm the minefield in the demilitarized zone (DMZ), which divides the Korean peninsula into two roughly equal parts – the northern (North) and southern (Republic of Korea). The Ministry of National Defense announced the beginning of its demining.
This step is part of the “inter-Korean rapprochement” in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, signed in mid-September by the President of the Republic of Korea – Moon Zhe In and North Korean leader Kim Jong-no.
Within 20 days, Seoul and Pyongyang plan to remove all mines from the “United Security Zone” (JSA) along the DMZ. This zone is the only part where the forces of the two countries stand face to face. It is used as a venue for diplomatic negotiations. In the media, it is often called the “village of an armistice”.
It is believed that the remains of about 300 soldiers from two Koreas and UN forces killed during the Korean War in 1950-1953 were buried in these areas. Two Koreas chose this area as a testing center for a joint repatriation mission.
The leaders of the two Koreas agreed to continue their joint efforts to disarm the DMZ and withdraw its troops from there, as a confidence-building measure against the background of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Two Koreas and the United Nations Command (UNC) also form a tripartite negotiating body to accelerate disarmament along the border.
It remains to be seen whether the two Koreas will be able to complete the removal of mines in accordance with the schedule because of limited manpower and lack of equipment.