North Korea estimated to have 20-60 nuclear weapons: Seoul

South Korean army soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone South Korea

South Korean army soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone South Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has dispatched a precious peace offering to South Korean President Moon Jae In-two Pungsan puppies. Troops will remain there - but will be unarmed.

More than a million landmines were laid in border areas including the DMZ and the Civilian Control Zone in the South, say demining experts, and civilians and soldiers alike have been killed or injured by them. About 2 million mines are believed to be scattered in and near the DMZ, which is also guarded by hundreds of thousands of combat troops, barbed wire fences and tank traps. Later in the day, North Korean soldiers were detected engaging it what is believed to be demining of the other part of the sites, a Seoul official said Monday.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has weighed in too, with vague words promoting hope for denuclearization and a better life for the North Korean people.

There has been no immediate confirmation from North Korea that its troops have begun working on the project.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his "steadfast stand" Monday to deepen relations with China in his message to Chinese leader Xi Jinping on the occasion of China's 69th founding anniversary, the North's state media said.

Military officials have predicted that once the disarming measure is implemented, the JSA will look similar to what it had been like before the 1976 axe murder incident, when rank-and-file guard posts were banned from carrying heavy firearms - even pistols. -North Korean nuclear diplomacy, also called for a strong national defense, saying "peace can continue only when we have power and are confident of protecting ourselves".

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Moon has advocated dialogue with the isolated North to nudge it toward denuclearisation. Past rapprochement efforts were often stalled after an global standoff over the North's nuclear ambitions intensified.

South and North Korea are reported to have started removing landmines from along their heavily defended border.

North Korea on Tuesday ruled out dismantling its nuclear arsenal in exchange for the United States declaring an end to the Korean War, saying a peace treaty should "never be a bargaining chip".

South Korea also held a ceremony on Monday marking the recent return of remains of 64 South Korean soldiers missing from the Korean War. They were earlier found in North Korea during a joint 1996-2005 excavation project between the United States and North Korea.

The North has for decades demanded that the U.S. formally declare the end of the 1950-53 conflict that was halted only with an armistice, saying an official end to the war would ease tensions on the flashpoint peninsula.

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