Go to contents

Mine clearing south of DMZ 44 % complete

Posted October. 16, 2000 20:13,   


The Army disclosed Monday that land mines have been cleared from a 190,000-square meter area south of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) since Sept. 18, when a ground-breaking ceremony was held for the commencement of work on the reconnection of the cross-border Seoul-Shinuiju rail line. This accounts for 44 percent of the total area of 430,000 square meters immediately below the southern limit of the DMZ believed to harbor mines, army sources said.

Two field engineering battalions were dispatched for the mine sweeping operations with over 120 pieces of special equipment, including two cutting-edge mine breaker and excavator devices.

Having completed mine sweeping in the southern area prior to the freezing season, the Army will start building the roadbed on sections where safety is confirmed, sources said.

They predicted that an agreement would be reached at an inter-Korean military working group meeting on mine removal inside the DMZ, adding that this would not take place before next spring in view of the progress of the clearing operations so far and the approach of the winter months.

The Army added that the route of the rail line, its width, the incline of the roadbed and combat facilities in its environs will be redesigned to ensure thorough defense preparedness in the reconnection of the railway. New types of weapons and ammunition have been deployed to forestall a possible mobile strike by enemy forces.

Hwang Yoo-Seong yshwang@donga.com