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N Korea at crossroads

Koreas start removal of DMZ mines in rush to ease tensions

US-led forces hesitate to sign onto disarmament after Moon-Kim summit

North and South Korea aim to disarm the Panmunjom Truce Village border zone by the end of October.
North and South Korea aim to disarm the Panmunjom area of the DMZ by the end of October.   © Reuters

SEOUL -- North and South Korea began Monday to remove landmines from the Demilitarized Zone separating them, the South's Defense Ministry said, as the long-hostile neighbors took the first step in a defusing process agreed on at last month's summit.

The demining project began at the Joint Security Area -- also known as the truce village of Panmunjom -- as well as farther east along the border in Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, where both sides plan to excavate Korean War remains. According to a bilateral military agreement, the mines at Panmunjom will be cleared out within 20 days, with guard posts, personnel and ordnance to be removed as well, with a goal of disarming the area completely within the month.

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