Two Koreas, US-led UN Command hold trilateral talks on disarming border
North Korea, South Korea, and the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) have held their first talks on demilitarizing the heavily-fortified border between the two Koreas as part of a deal signed last month between Seoul and Pyongyang.
The diplomatic talks, led by colonel-level military officials from each side, began behind closed doors in the truce village of Panmunjom on Tuesday.
“The first meeting between the South, North and the UNC on disarming the Joint Security Area (JSA) will take place at 10am today at Panmunjom,” the South Korean Defense Ministry said in a message sent to reporters early in the morning.
The two Koreas, which are technically still at war since 1953, agreed last month to take steps toward peace by turning the Korean Peninsula into a “land of peace without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats.”
Under a deal signed at a summit between the South’s President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the North’s capital, Pyongyang, they agreed to halt military exercises, gradually remove landmines and guard posts within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), and establish an extensive no-fly zone near their border.
As an initial step, the two sides began removing landmines at the JSA earlier this month, and are due to withdraw “unnecessary” surveillance equipment once the landmine work is completed.
According to the South’s Defense Ministry, the measures would transform the border into a “place of peace and reconciliation.”