Seoul — North and South Korea have agreed to close some guard posts along their border on a trial basis, Seoul’s defence minister told parliament on Tuesday amid a rapid diplomatic thaw. The demilitarised zone that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953 is, despite its name, one of the most fortified places on earth, with the areas on either side of it bristling with minefields and barbed-wire fences. South Korean defence minister Song Young-moo said the South would withdraw about 10 guard posts as part of confidence-building measures following the landmark summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South’s president, Moon Jae-in, in April.

"What it means is that we will first withdraw one or two guard posts and gradually expand it," Song told legislators, adding that the North would take reciprocal measures.

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