IT40 News for 10/16/2018

#30 Two Koreas, U.N. Command wrap up first session of talks on disarming border

© REUTERS
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in talk while taking a walk at Samjiyon Guesthouse in Ryanggang province

North and South Korea held their first three-way talks with the United Nations Command (UNC) on Tuesday to discuss ways to demilitarize the border as the neighbors push for peace, Seoul's defense ministry said.

The two sides agreed this week to begin reconnecting rail and road links, in spite of U.S. concerns that a rapid thaw in relations could undermine efforts to press North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

Tuesday's meeting followed their agreement at a summit in Pyongyang last month to hold talks with the UNC, which overlaps with U.S. forces in the South and oversees affairs in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), to smooth the way to disarming one of the world's most heavily fortified frontiers.

The meeting lasted for about two hours at the border village of Panmunjom, and was led by military officials of the rank of colonel from each side, including Burke Hamilton, secretary of the UNC Military Armistice Commission, the ministry said.

"They discussed practical issues regarding demilitarization steps to be conducted in the future," it said in a statement after the talks.

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