DPRK, ROK and UN Command hold first talks on demilitarizing border
Updated 11:37, 19-Oct-2018
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the United Nations Command (UNC) held their first three-way talks on Tuesday to discuss demilitarizing the border as the two Koreas push for peace, Seoul's defense ministry said.
The meeting started at 10 a.m. local time, at the truce village of Panmunjom, and was led by colonel-level military officials from each side, the ministry said in a statement.
As an initial step, the two Koreas are seeking to pull out 11 guard posts within a 1 km radius of the Military Demarcation Line by the end of this year.
They began demining in several small areas this month and will build roads to facilitate a pilot project slated for April to excavate remains of soldiers missing from the 1950-53 Korean War.
Both sides will also withdraw all firearms from the Joint Security Area (JSA) at Panmunjom, scale down personnel stationed there to 35 on each side in line with the armistice agreement, and share information of their surveillance equipment.
Tourists from both sides and overseas will be allowed to freely come and go within the JSA.
Visitors queue to take pictures at a mock Panmunjeom in Namyangju, South Korea, May 5, 2018. /VCG Photo

Visitors queue to take pictures at a mock Panmunjeom in Namyangju, South Korea, May 5, 2018. /VCG Photo

The measures, designed to come about over the period of one month, would transform the border into a “place of peace and reconciliation,” the ministry has said.
"Most of the operations will actually be executed by the two Koreas but ensuring UNC support matters, as it has US elements and also manages the Military Armistice Commission,” a South Korean military source said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue.
In September, the two Koreas agreed to turn the Joint Security Area (JSA), over which the UNC has jurisdiction, into a weapon-free zone under the military agreement signed by their defense chiefs.
The JSA was established on the border just after the 1950-53 Korean War. It has also served as the venue for talks between the two sides, including the first summit between the ROK President Moon Jae-in and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in April.
Source(s): Reuters