S. Korea believes North begins demining at DMZ

S. Korea believes North begins demining at DMZ

S. Korea believes North begins demining at DMZ

KCNA said that Pyongyang was willing to take "such. steps as eternal dismantlement" of its nuclear complex "if the USA takes a corresponding measure" but again did not elaborate.

Since fighting during the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a stalemate, at least nine soldiers have been killed in incidents with North Korean troops, including the killing in 1976 of two US soldiers by axe-wielding North Koreans, the UNC says. North Korea is thought to have placed 800,000 to one million landmines on the north side.

In the "Arrow Head Hill", where some of the fiercest battles during the Korean War happened, Seoul officials believe there are remains of about 300 South Korean and United Nations forces along with an unspecified number of Chinese and North Korean remains.

The militaries launched the removal work in the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the DMZ, which they have agreed to disarm, and part of Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, where they plan to carry out a joint project to excavate Korean War remains next year. It is believed that there are tens of thousands of landmines in the two areas to be cleared.

Mines dislodged by flooding and landslides have occasionally caused deaths in front-line areas in South Korea. A 2015 DMZ mine explosion blamed on North Korea that maimed two South Korean soldiers pushed the rivals to the brink of an armed conflict.

The deal also provides for removal of guard posts and weapons from the JSA to follow the removal of the mines, with the troops remaining there to be left unarmed.

In April, South Korea said it had stopped broadcasting propaganda via loudspeakers along the border to "ease the military tension between the two Koreas".

A top South Korean official has told MPs North Korea could have up to 60 nuclear weapons.

Kim also agreed at the summit to dismantle North Korea's main nuclear facility, pending corresponding measures from the U.S.

Pungsans are designated a North Korean "natural monument".

In a summit in April, the leaders of South and North Korea agreed to cooperate in declaring an end to the war this year, saying that they will seek multilateral talks involving the United States and possibly China. He also said the north is committed to helping maintain "long lasting peace and prosperity" on the peninsula.

Many foreign experts say North Korea is likely running additional secret uranium-enrichment plants. Past rapprochement efforts were often stalled after a standoff over the North's nuclear ambitions intensified. Kim Jong Un has subsequently held a series of summits with U.S., South Korean and Chinese leaders and taken some steps such as dismantling his nuclear test site.

Nuclear diplomacy later stalled due to suspicions over how honest North Korea is about its disarmament pledge. But Trump, Pompeo and other USA officials have recently reported progress in denuclearization discussions with the North. Pompeo is to make his third trip to North Korea soon.

South and North Korea are reported to have started removing landmines from along their heavily defended border.

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