South Korea is considering withdrawing some forces from the demilitarized zone separating it from North Korea in the first step towards transforming the area into a “peace zone.”
The defense ministry issued a report to lawmakers Tuesday saying it will remove some soldiers and equipment from border guard posts on a trial basis, before gradually withdrawing all forces in stages from the DMZ.
The military’s plans are part of an agreement reached between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their summit in April in Panmunjon. The two leaders agreed to cease all hostile acts and turn the demilitarized zone into a peace zone.
The defense ministry also informed lawmakers it would seek a joint program with the North and the United States to unearth the remains of war dead buried in the buffer zone.
The demilitarized zone was created as part of the armistice that ended the 1950-53 Korean War that split the communist-held North and democratic South, although the two sides are still technically in a state of war.