The Defense Ministry said Tuesday it is pushing for a withdrawal of troops and equipment from guard posts in the Demilitarized Zone(DMZ) on a trial basis in an effort to implement the April inter-Korean summit agreement.
In a policy briefing to the National Assembly's defense committee, the ministry also said it would consider expanding the pullout in phases following the trial period, calling it a substantive measure to realize a DMZ peace zone as stipulated in the summit accord.
The ministry said a full-scale withdrawal will be considered in connection with surveys on historical remains and ecological features of the DMZ.
South and North Korean guard posts in the DMZ currently house heavy weaponry such as machine guns.
The ministry also said it will seek a joint program with Washington and Pyongyang to excavate the remains of soldiers buried in the DMZ as part of efforts to implement the Panmunjeom Declaration and the Singapore summit agreement between the U.S. and North Korea.
It added that if it is necessary, South Korea will consider taking part in excavation projects held in the North.