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North, South Korea withdraw troops at border village

SEOUL, South Korea — The rival Koreas and the US-led UN Command completed withdrawing firearms and troops from a jointly controlled area at a border village on Thursday, as part of agreements to reduce decades-long animosities on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea separately announced its troops have found what it believes are Korean War remains in another front-line area where they’ve been clearing land mines with North Korean soldiers. The rival Koreas plan their first-ever joint searches for war dead there after their demining work is done.

Disarming the Joint Security Area at the border village of Panmunjom and the joint searches are among a package of deals the Koreas’ defense ministers struck on the sidelines of their leaders’ summit last month. Other steps include creating buffer zones along their land and sea boundaries and a no-fly zone above the borderline, as well as withdrawing some of their front-line guard posts.

On Thursday, the Koreas and the UN Command wrapped up a pullout of weapons, ammunition and soldiers manning guard posts at Panmunjom’s Joint Security Area, Seoul’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. The three sides have earlier completed removing mines from the village.

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