N.Korea blows up front­line guard posts

Global Times US Edition - - WORLD -

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.

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