Professional-North Korea teams welcome Kim Jong Un's go to to Seoul

[Newsmaker] Complete dismantlement of 20 guard posts in DMZ underway

South Korea reportedly has about 60 guard posts - bunker-like concrete structures surrounded with layers of barbed-wire fences and manned by soldiers equipped with machine guns - stretched across the ironically named Demilitarized Zone.

But South and North Korea have conducted a number of inter-Korean projects created to lower tensions, including joint sports and cultural events, closing some guardposts along their shared border, and regular high-level negotiations.

According to defense officials here, North Korea operates about 160 guard posts inside the DMZ along the 250-kilometer-long swath of land.

The only place in the Korean-Korean border, where soldiers of the two countries are right against each other, there is the border village of Panmunjom, where negotiations on issues concerning the two countries of the Korean Peninsula.

The moves come as a diplomatic thaw between the former wartime foes gathers pace.

North Korean (top) and South Korean (bottom) military guard posts are seen near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea, in Paju on Jan 9, 2018.

And, ironically, according to the Times, the sanctions that Trump touts are harming North Korea because Pyongyang has resumed trade with Russian Federation and China based largely on its better ties with the US and its stated commitment to eventual denuclearization.

The South Korean presidential office announced Sunday that it was sending 200 tons of tangerines to North Korea in return for mushrooms received from the North in September.

The two nations technically remain at war after the 1950-53 Korean War that sealed the division of the peninsula and ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace treaty. Kim Jong-un visited the frontline post in 2013, when tension was high between the two Koreas.

The prospects for the joint project, however, remain unclear as it is apparently faced with opposition from the United States, which has voiced concerns over faster progress in inter-Korean relations than in denuclearization talks with North Korea.

Planned talks between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and one of Kim's right-hand men, Kim Yong Chol, were also delayed this week.

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