Two Koreas remove landmines at tense border

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Troops will remain there - but will be unarmed.

"The issue of the war-end declaration should have been resolved half a century ago, under an armistice agreement". Rival soldiers face each other only feet away from each other, and it has been the scene of bloodshed and violence, including the 1976 ax-killing of two American troops. "Furthermore, it can never be a bargaining chip for getting the DPRK denuclearized", it said, using the North's full name.

The two sides agreed to remove all land mines in the so-called Joint Security Area in Panmunjom within the next 20 days, in a pact reached during last month's summit in Pyongyang between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean despot Kim Jong-un.

The South Korean government has also said that demining projects are set to begin in the eastern province of Gangwon to allow teams to search for the remains of soldiers killed in the war.

Since fighting during the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in a stalemate, at least nine soldiers have been killed in incidents with North Korean troops, including the killing in 1976 of two USA soldiers by axe-wielding North Koreans, the UNC says. It is believed that South Korean, United States, French and Chinese soldiers are buried there.

Critics of his engagement policy have lambasted the recent inter-Korean military deals, saying a mutual reduction of conventional military strength would weaken South Korea's war readiness because the North's nuclear program remains largely intact.

Extremely heavy fighting took place in October 1952 in a place known as "Arrow Head Hill".

In this October 1, 2018 photo, South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon speaks at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea.

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In November 2017, North Korean troops at the JSA shot one of their soldiers defecting to the South five times.

Mines dislodged by flooding and landslides have occasionally caused deaths in front-line areas in South Korea.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with US President Donald Trump at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on 12 June 2018.

They also reportedly dismantled propaganda, loudspeakers and some guard posts along the militarized border.

The two Koreas are set to conduct the joint excavation project in the Cheorwon area from April 1 to October 31, 2019.

The dogs completed a quarantine and passed through the heavily fortified demilitarized zone (DMZ) and the Panmunjom truce village on Thursday, according to the Blue House.

Lee, the commentator, played down the significance of the mine removal, saying that "North Korea's military threats won't disappear even though we get rid of a small number of front-line mines". Most North Korean refugees living in the South have fled via the less guarded border with China. Seoul's Defense Ministry told lawmakers in 2015 that at that rate, it would take about 200 years to remove all the mines on the southern side of the DMZ and nearby front-line areas. The National Intelligence Service, South Korea's main spy agency, couldn't immediately comment.

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