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South and North Korea Demining the Border Together

In October 2018, South and North Korea started demining together along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and its neighboring regions.

A Process of the Demining Works

Demining Work in Cheorwon, South Korea

This cooperative demining operation between South and North Korea is the first actual movement based on the 4·27 Panmunjeom Declaration for Peace. It is a base for demilitarization of the Joint Security Area (JSA), a part of the DMZ where South and North Korea military forces still face each other. According to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), more than a million mines are buried in the DMZ, but this is not an accurate number. In fact, there are many more unidentified regions than identified ones, so most experts expect that there are far more mines in the DMZ. As the DMZ is under the jurisdiction of the United Nations (UN), the UN approved of the South and North Korean demining work and said that the United States Forces Korea (USFK) would be in charge of quick support for medical emergencies. After the approval, on October 1st, the first demining work was conducted both in the JSA and the DMZ around Cheorwon. The former has been already completed, and the latter will be done this month. The governments of South and North Korea met again at Panmunjeom to check the progress of the work on October 12th .

A Cornerstone for Peace in Korea

It is a base for excavating the remains of the Korean War. When the demining work is completed, a road that connects the two divided countries will be temporarily constructed. This road will make the excavation more effective, allowing both South and North Koreans to visit each other freely. The excavation project will be launched through the road starting from next April. If all of these are finished, the scars of the war, which have lasted from generation to generation on the Korean Peninsula, are expected to be cured.

이수연  pim545@skku.edu

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