South Korea-U.S. military drills violate agreements - North Korea media

South Korean marines march during a military exercise as a part of the annual joint military training called Foal Eagle between South Korea and the US in Pohang South Korea

South and North Korea had separately planned to conduct a joint survey of cross-border railway lines in the western region in late October, but it has yet to begin as consultations with the US have not been completed.

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According to defense officials here, North Korea operates about 160 guard posts inside the DMZ along the 250-kilometer-long swath of land.

Last month the two Koreas removed all firearms and guard posts in the Joint Security Area (JSA), the sole outpost in the border truce village of Panmujum, where both countries and US-led UN Command stood face to face.

The moves come as a diplomatic thaw between the former wartime foes gathers pace.

Officials said the North Koreans are still making nuclear materials and weapons at these bases hidden in the mountains, The Times reported.

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South Korea's liberal President Moon Jae-in was behind U.S.

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

The two countries technically remain at war since the 1950-53 Korean War that divided the peninsula but the conflict ended with a ceasefire instead of a peace declaration.

Under doveish South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Seoul has pursued a policy of engagement with its isolated, nuclear-armed neighbour, in contrast with the USA which insists pressure should be maintained on Pyongyang until it denuclearises.

However, the tensions have softened after Moon and Kim began talks to reconcile the relationship of the 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". North Korea last week asked for a planned meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim's right-hand man Kim Yong Chol to be delayed.

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