North Korea removes 636 land mines from border, Seoul says

In this August 1, 2010 file photo, South Korean Army soldiers search for landmines near the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas in Yeoncheon. Photograph:( AP )

Agencia EFE Seoul, South Korea Nov 12, 2018, 06.06 PM (IST)

 North Korea has removed 636 land mines from Panmunjom truce village located on the border, the South Korean Defense Minister said on Monday.

The task was part of the military deal both countries signed at their September summit in which Seoul and Pyongyang decided to remove land mines around the South Korean border town of Cheorwon, 90 kilometers (56 miles) northeast of Seoul, and next to the Joint Security Zone.

"There were no land mines found in our region, and the North informed us that it has removed more than 600 land mines," Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-Doo said at a National Assembly session, Yonhap news agency reported.

Kyeong-Doo also said that the two neighbors Sunday concluded the withdrawal of troops and equipment from 11 border guard posts.

South Korea was operating 60 positions in the Demilitarized Zone along with outposts, while the North has more than 160, the minister said.

The South Korean army has begun mobilizing bulldozers to take down 10 of its 11 posts, while planning to maintain one along the east coast set up shortly after the Korean War ceasefire in 1953.

The North is also expected to retain one.

"The irreversible demolition of guard posts is the most tangible and symbolic measure to fundamentally prevent accidental clashes between South and North Korea and build confidence," said South Korean General Kim Yong-woo during the inspection of the destruction of a post, Yonhap reported.

Story highlights

The South Korean army has begun mobilizing bulldozers to take down 10 of its 11 posts, while planning to maintain one along the east coast set up shortly after the Korean War ceasefire in 1953.