N.Korea blows up frontline guard posts
Pyongyang blew up 10 guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone Tuesday as the two Koreas pursue a reconciliation drive, even while denuclearization talks stall between the US and the North.
The move is one of the steps agreed during the Pyongyang summit between the South’s President Moon Jae-in and the North’s Leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in September.
The North told the South that it would blow up the 10 facilities almost simultaneously, Seoul’s defence ministry said, adding that Southern soldiers “observed and confirmed the guard posts were completely ruined at the announced time.”
Seoul has been tearing down 10 guard posts of its own, mostly using excavators, a defence ministry spokesman said.
The North has more of the facilities, and according to Yonhap news agency, the moves will leave it with around 150 in the area, with the South having about 50.
Moon has pursued a policy of engagement with its isolated, nuclear-armed neighbor, in increasing contrast to Washington, which insists pressure should be maintained on Pyongyang until it denuclearizes.
Despite its name, the area around the DMZ is a very fortified place, replete with minefields and barbed-wire fences.
But under plans to ease tensions agreed in Pyongyang, the two Koreas are demilitarizing the border truce village of Panmunjom, to leave it manned by 35 unarmed personnel from each side.