The two Koreas will hold working-level military talks Thursday to discuss details of a comprehensive agreement to flesh out the military part of their April summit accord aimed at reducing border tensions and building mutual trust.
The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. at Tongilgak, a North Korea-controlled building in the truce village of Panmunjom within the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas. Pyongyang recently made the proposal for the talks, which Seoul accepted later.
|Major Gen. Kim Do-gyun (2nd from L), the chief of South Korea's five-member delegation, shakes hands with Lt. Gen. An Ik-san (2nd from R), the chief of North Korea's delegation, on July 31, 2018, before their talks at the Peace House, a South Korea-controlled building at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, in this photo provided by the Joint Press Corps. (Yonhap)|
Army Col. Cho Yong-geun will lead South Korea's three-member delegation, while the North's side will be led by Col. Om Chang-nam.
"We will have discussions related to the agreement on the military part (of the summit accord)," Cho told Yonhap News Agency over the phone.
The two sides are expected to discuss a series of issues, such as withdrawing DMZ guard posts on a trial basis, carrying out a joint project to excavate Korean War remains in the buffer zone and disarming the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom.
The results of the talks are likely to be included in the envisioned military agreement, which is expected to be officially adopted by President Moon Jae-in and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un during their third summit slated to occur in Pyongyang from Sept. 18-20.
During the July 31 general-grade talks, Seoul and Pyongyang shared the understanding in "broad terms" over the issues of fostering peace in the DMZ in line with the April summit agreement to transform the border area into a "peace zone."
Also during the working-level meeting, Seoul will push for the establishment of a joint military committee and a direct communication line between the military leaders of the two Koreas, which is likely to be included in the military agreement, a source said.
Some observers say that the two sides could also discuss the inclusion of measures to prevent any naval clashes near the Northern Limit Line (NLL), a de facto maritime boundary.
During the April summit, Moon and Kim agreed to devise a practical scheme to turn the areas around the NLL into a "maritime peace zone" in order to prevent accidental military clashes and guarantee safe fishing activities. (yonhap)
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