Mushrooms and tangerines: North and South Korea swap food gifts

North Korea

The two Koreas began destroying 20 guard posts along their heavily-fortified frontier Sunday under a plan to reduce tensions on the border.

From this Monday, . the two Koreas began demolishing 10 guard posts each on their sides of DMZ. Chinese soldiers fought for North Korea.

A rare seasonal delicacy sold at a high price in South Korea and Japan, wild pine mushrooms picked in North Korea are sold for around $700 per 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) in the South, according to Yonhap News.

The only place in the Korean-Korean border, where soldiers of the two countries are right against each other, there is the border village of Panmunjom, where negotiations on issues concerning the two countries of the Korean Peninsula. The defense ministry said hundreds of soldiers from South Korea, the US and France were buried in the hill.

Seoul is pushing ahead with a rapprochement with the nuclear-armed North while its security ally the USA insists pressure on Pyongyang should be maintained until it denuclearises.

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South Korea is sending 20,000 boxes of tangerines to North Korea in return for a gift of pine mushrooms from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in September.

Thirteen pro-North Korea and progressive civic groups announced Wednesday that they have established a joint committee that will support Kim's visit to Seoul, Chosun Ilbo reported.

The 248-kilometer (155-mile) border buffer peppered with millions of land mines has been the site of occasional skirmishes between the two forces since the 1950-53 Korean War. Kim Jong-un visited the frontline post in 2013, when tension was high between the two Koreas.

The State Department responded to the study with a statement that failed to directly address the secret bases, saying "President Trump has made clear that should Chairman Kim follow through on his commitments, including complete denuclearization and the elimination of ballistic missile programs, a much brighter future lies ahead for North Korea and its people".

Last week, talks between US Secretary Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol were delayed but neither countries revealed a reason for the postponement.

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