North Korea, South Korea begin removing land mines along border

More than 1 million landmines were laid in border areas including the DMZ and the Civilian Control Zone in the South

As part of last month's deal, guard posts and weapons will be shipped out of the JSA after the demining.

The Koreas remain split along the 155-mile-long DMZ that was originally created as a buffer zone at the end of the Korean War.

More than a million landmines were laid in border areas including the DMZ and the Civilian Control Zone in the South, say demining experts, and civilians and soldiers alike have been killed or injured by them.

Mines dislodged by flooding and landslides have occasionally caused deaths in front-line areas in South Korea.

Extremely heavy fighting took place in October 1952 in a place known as "Arrow Head Hill".

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In April, South Korea said it had stopped broadcasting propaganda via loudspeakers along the border to "ease the military tension between the two Koreas".

North Korea has called on the USA to actively engage in talks on declaring an end to the Korean War, which was halted in 1953 with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

This image depicts South and North Korean troops participating in a landmine removal operation in the Demilitarized Zone.

Panmunjom is also where the armistice that suspended the Korean War was signed, and where Kim and Moon met in person for the first time in April past year. The remains of a large number of Chinese and North Korean soldiers are also likely there.

"It noted that it is the steadfast stand of Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) government to develop the traditional DPRK-China relations of friendship on a new stage", the KCNA said in English, referring to Kim's message to Xi.

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There was no immediate confirmation from North Korea that its troops had begun the demining process, but the South said it expects its neighbor to adhere to the deal.

South Korean troops have gradually taken over most operations along their side of the border but global forces, under the U.S. led United Nations Command, retain major roles. They were earlier found in North Korea during a joint 1996-2005 excavation project between the United States and North Korea before forensic identification tests in Hawaii confirmed they belong to South Korean war dead, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.

In the case of Arrow Head Hill, they aim to remove the mines by the end of November.

In the South, troops began removing mines on the southern part of the two sites on Monday morning.

South Korea also held a ceremony on Monday marking the recent return of remains of 64 South Korean soldiers missing from the Korean War. Past rapprochement efforts were often stalled after an global standoff over the North's nuclear ambitions intensified.

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Consider the speeches the South Korean president delivered in North Korea last month.

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