SEOUL, South Korea has discovered some 2,000 items, including canteens and helmets, that belonged to troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War during excavation work in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), Seoul's defense ministry said Wednesday.

On April 1, the South's military launched demining operations and independent excavation work in the Arrowhead Ridge, a notorious battle site of the Cold War conflict, as North Korea did not respond to its call to jointly carry out the work as agreed.

Under last year's bilateral military accord aimed at defusing border tensions and building trust, Seoul and Pyongyang had planned to carry out the joint excavation project from April through October.

Aside from the 2,000 artifacts, the excavation team found some 160 landmines and unexploded ordnance.

Last Thursday, the team also retrieved two pieces of lower-arm bones believed to be those of at least one soldier killed in the war.

Pyongyang has appeared lukewarm about the enforcement of the military accord since the no-deal summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and its leader, Kim Jong-un, in Hanoi in late February.

The excavation project is a key part of the military accord. The accord entails a series of confidence-building and arms control measures, including disarming the Joint Security Area in the DMZ and withdrawing some border guard posts.

Source: Yonhap news Agency