November 06, 2018 09:11
South and North Korea started a joint inspection of the estuary of the Han and Imjin rivers on Monday.
The shared use of the estuary is part of an inter-Korean military agreement reached in September. The inspection is the first in the 65 years since the armistice halted fighting in the Korean War.
Once the inspection is complete, navigation information will be provided for the free passage of civilian vessels.
The 1953 armistice itself permits free passage of civilian vessels in the area where the Han River and the Imjin River converge, but civilian access to the 70-km long zone along the western border of the two Koreas has been restricted in the absence of a military demarcation line, which could have led to accidental clashes between the two sides.
According to the Defense Ministry, the inspection team is made up of 10 people from each side, including military and maritime officials, and civil waterway experts, and deploys six boats. They will complete the inspection by the end of this year.
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