North Korea

North and South Korea to hold military talks on Friday after disarmament pledge

• Leaders of both nations agreed last moth to disarm the Joint Security Area and remove some guard posts within the demilitarised zone

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 12:19pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 October, 2018, 11:27pm

The military authorities of North and South Korea will hold talks on Friday to discuss implementing measures aimed at easing military tension between the two Koreas, the South’s Defence Ministry said Monday.

North and South Korea signed a military agreement at their summit in Pyongyang in September, including disarming the Joint Security Area at the Panmunjom border village and removing some guard posts within the demilitarised zone dividing the Koreas.

Friday’s meeting to be held at Panmunjom will involve general-level officers from the Koreas, with the South Korean side headed by Major General Kim Do-gyun and the North Korean side by Lieutenant General An Ik-san, according to the ministry.

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On Monday, the military authorities of North and South Korea held their second round of talks with the US-led United Nations Command on demilitarising the JSA, following their first three-way talks last week, the ministry said.

Establishing the three-way consultative body was stipulated in the September military agreement. As agreed at the time, the Koreas had completed the removal of landmines from the JSA by Saturday to prepare the ground for the area’s demilitarisation.

The JSA is a small enclave separated by the Military Demarcation Line and patrolled by South Korean and US troops, on one side, and North Korean soldiers, on the other.

The 1950-1953 Korean war ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty, meaning US-led United Nations forces, including South Korea, are technically still at war with North Korea.

Also on Monday, North and South Korea held a meeting on reforestation in North Korea, at an inter-Korean joint liaison office set up in the Kaesong industrial estate near the North Korean border with the South.