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South and North Korea agree to conduct joint site inspection on guard posts removal in DMZ next Wednesday Updated: 2018-12-07 07:28:54 KST


South Korea's defense ministry announced Thursday that the militaries of South and North Korea have agreed to conduct a one-day joint inspection to verify the removal of guardposts on both sides of the DMZ.
The inspection is set for next Wednesday.
Last month, the two Koreas removed firearms and troops from eleven guard posts on each side, and then demolished the structures using explosives and bulldozers.
But they decided in the process to leave one standing on each side for historic and symbolic reasons.
Those too are subject to the inspection to verify the removal of weapons.
Seoul's defense ministry says both sides will send teams of seven members to each of the guard posts led by an active-duty officer of colonel-level rank and including two photographers.
The South Koreans will inspect the North Korean guard posts on Wednesday morning, and the North Koreans will visit the South Korean guard posts in the afternoon.
The ministry also says the two Koreas will build cross-border foot paths between the pairs of guard posts, which face each other, for the inspectors to use on the day.


"The new path will be used by active-duty soldiers from both sides as they verify the complete demolition of these front-line guard posts. We hope the path takes us to a new era -- to a DMZ that's no longer a symbol of division, confrontation and conflict but a zone of peace.
The South Korean military will continue to maintain a firm defense posture and to supporting the peace process militarily."

The defense ministry said verification process shows the two Koreas' mutual trust built on September's inter-Korean military agreement in which they agreed to stop all hostile acts against each other.
For security reasons, the defense ministry does not officially reveal the exact number of all guard posts in the DMZ, but it's believed that the South has about sixty and the North about a hundred and sixty.
A military source says the ultimate goal of both Koreas is to remove all of them in the near future.
Park Ji-won, Arirang News.
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