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Inter-Korean Comprehensive Military Agreement: One year on Updated: 2019-09-19 16:26:26 KST

A lot has changed on the Korean Peninsula since the signing of the Comprehensive Military Agreement on September 19th, 2018.
A trial removal of nearly a dozen frontline guard posts on both sides of the Demilitarized Zone was carried out as well as the removal of weaponry and troops there.
The two Koreas have also disarmed the Joint Security Area in Panmunjeom and set up ground, air and maritime buffer zones along the border.
A no-fly zone has been imposed covering 10 to 40 kilometersfrom the Military Demarcation Line and Seoul's defense ministry has been trying to negotiate with the North about expanding the zone to cover the Hangang River estuary.
The two Koreas have also carried out a joint survey of the estuary's waterway with the aim of providing the free passage of civilian vessels by sharing the area.
They've also conducted demining operations at Arrowhead Ridge inside the DMZ site to one of the fiercest battles during the Korean War for the excavation of troop remains.
Despite this, the two Koreas still have a long way to go to fully implement the agreement especially after the series of firings of new weapons by the North since May amid slow progress in the regime's denuclearization talks with the U.S.
It has raised criticism about the agreement's effectiveness stemming from the ambiguous interpretation of the agreement's term which says the two Koreas should refrain from "provocative acts."
Seoul's defense ministry has reiterated that the firings don't constitute a violation of the agreement, but admitted they run counter to the spirit of the deal.

"It's a stretch to say the firings are a violation since the deal did not state officially that launches are 'provocative acts' against the South. The nature of the launches taking into consideration their flight distance and direction also indicates they were more like test-firings rather than a postulation pertaining to a serious threat."

Further discussions include North Korea's acknowledgement of the Northern Limit Line, the disputed maritime demarcation line in the West Sea where the Koreas have agreed to establish a shared fishing ground.
They also need to hold more talks on the joint excavation of war remains currently being carried out exclusively by the South after the North failed to respond.
Kim Ji-yeon, Arirang News.
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