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DMZ Mine Removing Operation Tackled Once Again

Posted November. 24, 2002 22:53,   


South Korean military, United Nations Command (UNC), and North Korean military held a negotiation to deliberate on mutual inspection procedure of mine removal operations around the inter-Korean railroad that crosses the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone), but failed to draw an agreement once again.

Accordingly, opening of temporary highways on east side and the inter-Korean railroad due late this month became uncertain.

On November 22, through telephone message, South Korean military notified North Korea that ‘South Korean military will submit North Korean inspectors’ list to the UNC on behalf of the North Korea.’ But according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND), North Korea refused ‘the third inspection proposal’ South Korea made claiming, “United Nations Command should never intervene in this matter.”

Cha, Young-goo, Chief of Policy, MND, said on November 24, “ROK and U.S. made the proposal taking position of North Korea into account to the utmost, and we have no other options left as North Korea refused it.” He also added “Allowing for urgency of the operation, proper measures at government level will be taken with deliberation of concerned government ministries.”

“But as North Korea said ‘We wish that the railroad be linked,’ on its reply, it would be early to say that opening of the inter-Korean railroad within this year has completely failed,” he said.

On November 19 meeting, as North Korea resisted, saying “we have no reason to inform inspectors’ list to the UNC for the mine removal operation is a matter between two Koreas,” South Korea and U.S. made ‘the third proposal’ that ROK would deliver North Korean inspectors’ list to the UNC and recipient would be South Korean field officer rather than the UNC personnel.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com