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Koreas, U.N. Agree to Pull Firearms & Guard Posts from DMZ

South Korean soldiers face off with North Korean soldiers at Panmunjom in 2013. (Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/Reuters)

North and South Korea and the United Nations Command agreed Monday to remove firearms and guard posts from a portion of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two countries.

The three sides met for a second round of talks at the village of Panmunjom in the DMZ, and agreed to remove firearms and guard posts from the Joint Security Area (JSA), the only part of the DMZ where North and South Korean forces face each other, by Thursday.

The Koreas and the U.S.-led U.N. Command also plan to cut the number of personnel stationed in the JSA to 35 per country, and to remove eleven guard posts within a kilometer of the border by the end of the year. All three parties will participate in a joint inspection of the area over two days after that.

The move is the latest taken by the two neighbors to improve relations after North Korea promised to retire its nuclear program and give up its nuclear weapons. The Koreas reached an agreement in April to work toward peace and reunification after decades of conflict.

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