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  • Seoul and Pyongyang will be clearing the mines over the next three weeks. 

    Seoul and Pyongyang will be clearing the mines over the next three weeks.  | Photo: Reuters FILE

Published 3 October 2018
Opinion

The DMZ zone has more two million landmines and is believed to contain the remains of more than 300 United Nations and North Korean soldiers.

On Monday, North and South Korea have started the process of removing landmines from the 248-kilometer length of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates the two countries.   

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"Starting with the removing of mines, both sides will make efforts to carry out the military agreement in a systematic and normal manner," South Korea disclosed in a statement.

Seoul and Pyongyang will be clearing the mines over the next three weeks. South Korean engineers are demining the southern regions of Panmunjom village and “Arrow Head Hill” while North Koreans are doing the same in their territory, according to South Korean defense officials.

The DMZ zone has more two million landmines and is believed to contain the remains of more than 300 United Nations and North Korean soldiers, from the 1950-1953 Korean War. Additionally, reports state that South Korean and Chinese soldiers are also buried in the region. The two Koreas agreed to push for the joint search and repatriation of war remains.

Both nations have committed to extracting the explosive devices as well as continuing other peace talk agreements such as removing a dozen guard posts from the border before December.

"Both sides also plan to finish building roads (in the upland area) by the end of the year after removing the mines," the ministry said. Twelve-meter-wide roads - which will later be connected - will be built on either side of the zone to transport the remains of people who fought in the war.

In April, South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in a historic summit, at the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjeom, and signed an agreement promising lasting peace on the peninsula.

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