News Zone

Recent News

Minister Song Announces Push for Section-by-Section Withdrawal of Guard Posts in South-North DMZ

Minister Song Announces Push for Section-by-Sectio

Following the trial withdrawal of guard posts (GPs) from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), the Minister of National Defense has announced a push for a measure to withdraw GPs located in the DMZ.


During a plenary session of the 363rd National Assembly's second defense committee held on July 24th, Minister Song said, "I know that we should not be looking to reduce our guard posts by an equal number. We will discuss this in the next inter-Korean military talks in detail, including how many guard posts will be withdrawn in which zones," in response to a question from Lee Jong-myung of the Liberty Korea Party, who pointed out that Seoul would be put at a disadvantage if the two Koreas were to reduce guard posts by an equal number.


Currently, there are more North Korean GPs in the DMZ.


To the question from Chairperson of Defense Committee Ahn Kyu-baek, who asked ‘Does it mean that the two Koreas will remove guard posts at the same time according to reciprocity and a principle of proportionality, rather than pull them out on one-for-one basis?’, Minister Song remarked that "The pullout of GPs will be like from one section to another section in the DMZ."


At the 9th inter-Korean general-level military talks held on July 31st, South and North Korea held talks about the trial withdrawal of GPs in the DMZ, and agreed to discuss when to implement and how to do it in detail.


The ministry also gave a briefing at this Defense Committee, which was held for the settlement for 2017 fiscal year and handling various legislative bills, on its main pending defense-related issues, including Defense Reform 2.0 and its push to shorten the mandatory service period, adjusting the fixed number of generals and optimizing ranks, creating the military security support command, and the Marinon chopper crash.


As a measure to prevent Korea’s combat readiness from being weakened due to the shortening of the mandatary service period, the ministry introduced ‘strengthening advanced war potential' and ‘replacing the proficiency-needed positions with noncommissioned officers.’ This will bring the ratio of commissioned officers in GOP Division, Mobilization Reserve Division, Homeland Reserve Division, and Special Forces to 33%, 46%, 33%, and 81%, respectively, while the ratio of commissioned officers organized in the Mechanized Division will be significantly increased, from 27.6% to 40%, by 2022.


Regarding the Marinon crash, the ministry said that it has taken action to suspend flights of the Marinon and Surion, and a joint investigation committee was launched after agreement with bereaved family members, the investigation division in the ministry's investigation headquarters, and the Task Force team from the ministry and Marine Corps have been making efforts to determine and verify the cause of the accident


By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

<Copyright ⓒ The Korea Defense Daily, All rights reserved>


  • (Presentation and Follow-on discussion)