Both North and South Korea began removing deadly landmines and other anti-personnel devices along the heavily fortified border between both nations this week; signaling a further thaw in relations as Kim Jong Un’s regime re-committed itself towards the complete denuclearization of the region.
According to Reuters, South Korea’s Defense Ministry confirmed the decision; saying “both sides” agreed to dismantle landmines at the de-militarized zone near Panmunjom.
All devices are set to be removed within 20 days.
“South Korean troops have gradually taken over most operations along their side of the border but international forces under the U.S.-led United Nations Command retain major roles, especially at the [Joint Security Area], where an American commander and a South Korean deputy lead the security battalion,” writes Reuters.
The move comes as President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are set to meet for a second time in the coming weeks; setting the stage for a potential breakthrough regarding Kim’s nuclear weapons program.
Read the full story at Reuters.
DMZ DASH: North Korean Defector SHOT 5 TIMES While Fleeing to Freedom
A high-ranking North Korean soldier who suddenly dashed across the de-militarized zone into South Korea was shot five times by his communist comrades as he fled to freedom; miraculously surviving his journey across the most dangerous place on earth, reports Fox News.
New details are emerging about the unnamed defector who is currently recovering at a university hospital in Seoul, with South Korean officials saying the soldier was in “very dangerous” condition.
“[We] will have to ride out the crucial moments [in his recovery] over the next 10 days,” said the defector’s doctor.
Initial details released by government officials say the soldier abandoned his post and drove a military SUV towards a checkpoint near the DMZ. After getting stuck in a ditch, the man left the vehicle and bolted towards freedom as North Korean soldiers opened-fire with automatic rifles.
According to United Nations officials, the defector “initially took cover near a building on the southern side” of the border, covering himself in a pile of leaves as South Korean guards searched the area.
The incident comes less than one week after President Trump toured South Korea, warning North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to “not try” America’s resolve in disarming his nuclear and missile programs.
PEACE IN KOREA: North and South Korean Leaders to Meet at DMZ Friday
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un will meet this week for the first time in more than 10 years; sparking speculation the two leaders are poised to announce the official end of the 68 year-long Korean War.
According to Reuters, delegations from the two warring nations plan to hold high-level talks at the heavily fortified de-militarized zone that separates North and South Korea, where a ‘South Korean Honor Guard’ will escort officials to a welcome ceremony at the border city of Panmunjom.
“This summit will focus more on denuclearisation and securing of permanent peace than anything else,” said Moon’s chief of staff. “I feel North Korea is sending their key military officials to the summit as they too, believe denuclearisation and peace are important.”
The North Korean despot will be accompanied by his sister, a widely popular figure in the South following her highly-praised publicity tour during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Earlier this month, President Trump gave his “blessings” for the two countries to meet and discuss an end to the Korean War; setting the stage for Trump’s high-stakes meeting with Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks.