July 25, 2018 09:50
The Defense Ministry will pull troops and equipment out of guard posts in the demilitarized zone under an agreement the leaders of the two Koreas reached on April 27.
In a report to the National Assembly Defense Committee on Tuesday, the ministry said, "The two Koreas agreed to demilitarize the Joint Security Area and turn it into a peace zone. As a first step, we will pull some troops and equipment out of the guard posts on a trial basis before withdrawing all of them."
The ministry did not specify any conditions or timetable for the pullout. It mentions a possible "survey of historical relics and the area's ecology" along the way. There was also no mention of any reciprocal steps from the North.
"We will make the proposal in cross-border military talks," a ministry official said. "This doesn't mean that we will pull out troops unilaterally."
Meanwhile, satellite photos indicate that the North has started dismantling a missile test site in Tongchang-ri, North Pyongan Province, the website 38 North at Johns Hopkins University reported Monday.
A rocket-carrying vehicle that moves on rails was being dismantled and the shade cloth that once covered the nearby missile engine test site has been removed.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un promised U.S. President Donald Trump during their summit in Singapore on June 12 to dismantle the test site.
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