Koreas begin destroying 20 front-line guard posts

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- The South and North Korean militaries began destroying 20 front-line guard posts on Sunday after withdrawing troops and firearms as they implemented a comprehensive agreement on reducing tensions on the tense border, Seoul's defense ministry said.

Seoul and Pyongyang signed the military agreement on Sept. 19, including measures to prevent armed confrontation along the Military Demarcation Line and on the Northern Limit Line, a de facto sea border in the Yellow Sea.

As part of the agreement, Seoul and Pyongyang completed withdrawing troops and firearms from 22 guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas.

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to preserve two demilitarized guard posts -- one on the southern side of the DMZ and the other on the northern side.

North Korea is believed to preserve a guard post that its leader Kim Jong-un visited in June 2013.

Seoul and Pyongyang will start work to verify the outcome of destroying the guard posts in December.

South Korea currently has some 60 guard posts in the DMZ, while the North has about 160 such posts there.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim signed an agreement on the North's denuclearization during their summit in June in Singapore, but little progress has been made so far.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had planned to meet with Kim Yong-chol, a close aide to Kim, in New York last week, but North Korea delayed the high-level talks, according to South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.

The U.S. State Department said the high-level meeting will take place at a later date.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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