Both Koreas finish disarming JSA
Oct. 27, 2018
By Kim Hyelin and Yoon Sojung
As the two Koreas remove weapons and guard posts, the joint security area (JSA) of the Panmunjeom truce village, one of the places with the highest tension, will transform itself as the place of peace.
The Ministry of National Defense said on Oct. 25 that “The military authorities of South and North Korea and the United Nations Command withdrew firearms, ammunition and guard posts inside the JSA as of 13:00 on Oct. 25, 2018.”
To confirm the implementation of the disarmament measures, the military authorities of both Korea and the United Nations Command will carry out a joint verification targeting all guard posts and other facilities inside the area for two days from Oct. 26.
After the verification, a South Korean guard post will be built inside the north side of the JSA and the North Korean one will be set up inside the south side.
Thanks to the latest disarmament measures, the north side of the JSA, where visitors from South side were not allowed to approach in the past, will be open so that all visitors, including overseas tourists, will be able to look around the two sides after the guard posts are built.
The typical scene of armed soldiers standing face-to-face to guard the post will be gone soon. The defense ministry said, “Under the agreement, the guard mission inside the JSA, will be conducted by around 35 unarmed soldiers from each side.”
The JSA has been guarded by armed soldiers from both Koreas standing face-to-face on either side of the military demarcation line (MDL) since 1976. Thanks to the disamarment measures, unarmed soldiers from the two sides will be able to travel freely in both sides to conduct their guard duty.
“South and North Korea and the United Nations Command will work together so that the disarmament of the JSA will be implemented in a normal manner as stated in the inter-Korean military agreement signed on Sept. 19” said the defense ministry.