Monday, 17 December, 2018

South Korean war on 'fake news' raises concern of censorship

South Korean war on 'fake news' raises concern of censorship South Korean war on 'fake news' raises concern of censorship
Melinda Barton | 27 October, 2018, 18:03

South Korea will stage two military drills next week amid a thaw in relations with North Korea, which have prompted Seoul and Washington to suspend joint exercises with the United States to spur nuclear talks.

On Friday, military generals of North and South Korea held talks at the border village of Panmunjom within the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the latest development in their rapidly improving ties.

The planned committee is one of many inter-Korean commitments spelled out in the military agreement that was reached on the sidelines of a summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in last month in Pyongyang. They've completed removing mines and aim to withdraw weapons and guard posts this week.

North Korea's General Kim Hyong Ryong says that the goal of the talks is a "stable peace", with the idea of turning the Korean Peninsula from the "Hottest spot in the globe" to a cradle of peace and prosperity.

The two Koreas began removing mines from one of the heaviest Korean War battle sites at their border on October 1 before starting their first joint searches for war remains.

In addition, they decided on the "early" establishment of a joint military committee tasked with enforcing their September 19 military agreement aimed at reducing border tensions and preventing accidental clashes.

The Koreas remain split along the 248-kilometer (155-mile) -long, 4-kilometer (2.5-mile) -wide border called the Demilitarized Zone that was originally created as a buffer. Gen. Kim Do-gyun said in his opening remarks.

During the third inter-Korean summit held in Pyongyang, Sept. 18-20, the two Korean militaries signed a comprehensive military agreement, independent of their respective leaders' joint declaration.

The ROK chief delegate also told the briefing that other pending issues, including the disputed western maritime zone known as the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and the establishment of a maritime peace zone on the western coast, had not been discussed.

Friday's meeting saw the two agree to push ahead with the implementation of September's inter-Korean military agreement, reaffirming plans to cease hostile acts against each other as of November 1.

Once disarmament has been mutually verified, it's expected tourists from the North and South will be able to freely move about the area, something that's not happened since 1976, when two American soldiers were killed by ax-wielding North Korean troops.

Generals from both Koreas on Friday met in this place, the 38th parallel north, with the aim of attenuating military tensions and preventing confrontations.

Access to the Demilitarized Zone has been strictly limited by the authorities.