SEOUL, South Korea's rival Korea Generals met on Tuesday at their common border for talks designed to ease decades of military stalemate, Seoul officials said. The meeting comes a few days after North Korea returned the reported remnants of US war victims, the latest sign of flourishing diplomacy following the war threats last year.
The General Staff officers discussed ways in which the inter-Korean summit agreements in April implement non-nuclear military issues, but no big announcement is expected from the talks in the border village of Panmunjom. Some experts say that South Korea can not agree on any drastic measures to reduce hostilities if the North does not take nuclear disarmament seriously.
During the April 27 summit, Korea's leaders agreed to disarm a jointly controlled area in Panmunjom to prevent accidental clashes along their controversial maritime border and stop all hostile acts. Since then, the Koreas have dismantled their front propaganda speakers, restored a military hotline, and since 2007 have held their first general talks.
Tuesday is the second meeting of this kind since the summit. The generals are likely to consider dropping the number of military guards in Panmunjom, withdrawing heavy weapons from the area, and removing some army guards from the demilitarized zone, a buffer zone separating the two countries. You can also talk about how their fishermen can operate peacefully along the Korean Sea Line, where several bloody naval battles have taken place in recent years.
The Department of Defense will not discuss a detailed agenda for the talks.
The meeting takes place four days after the return of North Korea, which is said to contain dozens of remnants of American soldiers missing in the Korean War of 1950-1953, which Kim Jong Un summoned in June with US President Donald Trump promised.
Trump thanked Kim for "fulfilling a promise" to return US remains and said it was a step in the right direction after her summit.
During the meeting in Singapore, Kim also undertook to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, while Trump promised him with security guarantees. But there were fears that North Korea has since taken no serious disarmament measures.
The North has halted its missile and nuclear tests and shut down its nuclear test site, and recent satellite photos showed that the country had also begun dismantling key facilities at its main missile launch site. But many foreign experts say they were not enough to prove their disarmament commitments, saying that the North must first provide a list of nuclear assets to dismantle.
As a reward for the return of the American war, North Korea can demand that the US agree to an end to the Korean War as a US security guarantee. According to analyst Cho Han Bum from the Korean Institute for National Unity in Seoul, this topic could be discussed on Tuesday.
The Korean War ended with a ceasefire, not with a peace treaty that put the peninsula in a state of technical warfare. North Korea has long argued that its nuclear weapons are focused on US military threats and that it intends to sign a peace treaty with the US to officially end the war. Then the North could demand the withdrawal of 28,500 US troops stationed in South Korea.
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed.