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(LEAD) Koreas, UNC complete JSA disarmament verification

2018/10/28 16:56

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(ATTN: UPDATES throughout; CHANGES photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 28 (Yonhap) -- The Koreas and the U.S.-led U.N. Command have finished their two-day work to verify the disarmament of the Joint Security Area (JSA) in the Demilitarized Zone, Seoul's defense ministry said Sunday.

They conducted the joint verification work Friday and Saturday following the Koreas' 20-day land mine clearance operations and then the withdrawal of military posts, armed troops and other weapons.

"Through the joint verification work, the three sides directly confirmed and evaluated the fact that mutual disarmament steps were faithfully carried out in all JSA areas," the ministry said in a press release.

"We affirmed that the disarmament steps successfully took place for the first time since the JSA was set up in 1953," it added.

The Koreas decided to disarm the JSA under the military agreement their countries' defense chiefs signed during the third summit between President Moon Jae-in and the North's leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang last month. The UNC oversees activities inside the DMZ.

The JSA disarmament is a key part of the agreement aimed at reducing tensions and preventing accidental clashes.

In line with the agreement, the North removed five military posts inside the JSA, while four South Korean posts were removed. During the JSA demining operations, the North is said to have disposed of five land mines, while the South has discovered none.

After the verification work, the two Koreas and the UNC will hold additional consultations over a set of procedures to open new military posts for the management of the disarmed JSA and readjust surveillance equipment.

Once the disarmament and related procedures are complete this year, Koreans and foreign tourists will be allowed to cross the military demarcation line from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The South and North will each station a patrol of 35 unarmed soldiers there.

This photo, provided by South Korea's defense ministry, shows military officials from the two Koreas and the U.N. Command carrying out joint work to verify the disarmament of the Joint Security Area inside the Demilitarized Zone. (Yonhap) This photo, provided by South Korea's defense ministry, shows military officials from the two Koreas and the U.N. Command carrying out joint work to verify the disarmament of the Joint Security Area inside the Demilitarized Zone. (Yonhap)

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