Experts believe the South Korean and USA militaries have planted about 1-1.2 million mines south of the DMZ while North Korea has put about 800,000-1 million mines on its side.
"Even if we deployed 11 front-line engineering units to the DMZ and nearby area, it would take about 200 years to completely remove land mines scattered in the two Koreas", an Army official said during a meeting with reporters last month.
An editorial in a state-run North Korean newspaper said a declaration replacing the 65-year-old armistice to formally end the war "is not just a gift from a man to another". It refused to provide further details. North Korea is thought to have placed 800,000 to one million landmines on the north side.
The goal is make the area safe for troops from both North and South Korea. It is believed that there are tens of thousands of landmines in the two areas to be cleared. A 2015 DMZ mine explosion blamed on North Korea that maimed two South Korean soldiers pushed the rivals to the brink of an armed conflict.
In the meantime, the two Koreas and the UN Command will discuss ways to disarm the zone such as by pulling out troops, weapons and guard posts.
Propaganda loudspeakers and some guard posts along the border have already been dismantled.
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North Korea, South Korea and the USA have not signed the 1997 worldwide treaty banning landmines. -North Korean nuclear diplomacy.
The South Korean military will send engineering units to the South-controlled territory at the JSA.
"I think it's the worst-ever South-North Korean agreement that made a concession in our defense posture before (North Korean) denuclearization is achieved", Shin Wonsik, a former vice chairman of the South's Joint Chiefs of Staff, said last week.
Many foreign experts say North Korea is likely running additional secret uranium-enrichment plants. Past rapprochement efforts were often stalled after an global standoff over the North's nuclear ambitions intensified.
The North entered talks with the United States and South Korea earlier this year, saying it is willing to negotiate away its advancing nuclear arsenal. Kim Jong Un has subsequently held a series of summits with U.S., South Korean and Chinese leaders and taken some steps such as dismantling his nuclear test site.
But it claimed the USA is "trying to subdue" it through sanctions - an unsubtle call for Washington to lift sanctions if it wants any progress in their stalled nuclear negotiations. But Trump, Pompeo and other US officials have recently reported progress in denuclearization discussions with the North. Pompeo is to make his third trip to North Korea soon.