South Korea-US military drills violate Sept. 19 agreement: North Korea media

Defense Chief Some 4,600 Mines and Other Explosives Destroyed in DMZ

Seoul said Saturday that the two Koreas had finished withdrawing troops and firearms from some of their front-line guard posts as part of their agreements to lower military tensions between the countries.

IN a bid to soften tensions along their heavily-fortified frontier, North and South Korea began destroying 20 guard posts, signalling warming ties between the two estranged neighbours.

The South Korean Army says, . demolition work is simultaneously underway at 10 guard posts on the South Korean side of the DMZ, but explosives won't be used, . due to the safety of workers and ecological preservation in the area.

The two Koreas are planning to complete the removal of the guard posts by the end of the month.

Sole surviving plaintiff Lee Chun Sik (C) attends a press conference in Seoul on October 30, 2018, after South Korea's Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling from several years earlier ordering Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp.to compensate four South Koreans who were victims of forced labor during Japanese colonial rule.

Following this, 20 of the 22 posts were totally destroyed, with each side keeping a single, empty guard post.

The newspaper of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party carried an editorial Sunday supporting a recent South Korean court ruling ordering a Japanese company to pay compensation for wartime forced labor. In return, the South Korean military chose to retain one of its own guard posts in the eastern part of the DMZ. "In this context, we have consulted each other and reached a common understanding", said Defense Ministry spokesperson Choi Hyun-soo.

South Korea chose a guard post located close to the East Sea, . which was built in 1953, . right after the signing of the armistice agreement. She had accompanied Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on her South Korean trip in February this year.

According to defense officials here, North Korea operates about 160 guard posts inside the DMZ along the 250-kilometer-long swath of land.

Meanwhile, the militaries of the two Koreas and the United Nations Command held another round of working-level talks on Monday to discuss how to operate surveillance equipment after disarming the jointly controlled area inside the DMZ.

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