S. Korea demolishes DMZ guard post with explosive

SEOUL, South Korea on Thursday demolished part of a border guard post with an explosive device as part of an inter-Korean agreement to withdraw such installations inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) to reduce tensions, Seoul's defense ministry said.

Its military used a TNT explosive to destroy the upper part of the guard post in Cheorwon, some 90 kilometers northeast of Seoul, to carry out the agreement under which the Koreas will each withdraw 11 DMZ guard posts on a trial basis.

It was the first time using the explosive device in the demolition project, as the guard post is located on a mountain where an excavator cannot be easily deployed. To take down the remainder of the guard posts, it will use excavators to minimize any environmental impact.

Last Saturday, the Koreas completed their work to pull out troops and their military equipment from the 11 guard posts. The following day, the two sides started to tear them down.

The South and North recently agreed to not destroy one guard post each in consideration of their historical value.

The South will keep one that was established on the east coast shortly after the armistice agreement was signed to halt the 1950-53 Korean War. The North will retain one on its central frontline.

The two sides plan to finish the demolition process by this month and conduct the verification work in December.

The Koreas' defense ministers signed their comprehensive military agreement after the third summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang in September.

The agreement also includes disarming the Joint Security Area in the DMZ, conducting a joint project to excavate Korean War remains in a DMZ battle site and setting up ground, air and maritime buffer zones.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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