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Propelling inter-Korean communication key in Seoul's 2021 military policy plan Updated: 2021-01-22 10:18:18 KST

Seoul's defense ministry plans to carry out the inter-Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement aimed at reducing tensions along the border and push for periodic military meetings between the two Koreas.
Its policy plan for the year released on Thursday includes creating an action plan to get rid of all guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone which was agreed upon in the 2018 military agreement.
Defense Minister Suh Wook said in a briefing at Cheong Wa Dae that if North Korea responds positively, it will push to hold inter-Korean military meetings on a regular basis through a joint committee.
The two Koreas have yet to launch the inter-Korean joint committee, though its establishment was first agreed upon in 1992.
But it's been garnering attention as President Moon Jae-in stated earlier this week that the two Koreas can discuss whether to postpone or cancel South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises through such a channel.
North Korea has vehemently opposed the joint exercises.
Regarding North Korea's display of various missiles, Suh said the South Korean military will continue to secure key assets, such as powerful ballistic missiles, and improve its Cheolmae-II surface-to-air missile interceptors to prepare against the North's threats.
The ministry plans to also incorporate advanced tech from the so-called "Fourth Industrial Revolution" such as artificial intelligence, drones and robots to boost capabilities and prepare against the shrinking future manpower as the country faces a demographic cliff.
The ministry also said it'll expedite work on the envisioned transfer of operational control from Washington to Seoul and that if the U.S. wants to modify the level of U.S. troops stationed in the country it requires the South Korean government's cooperation in the process.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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