South Korea opens first hiking trail along the DMZ | 2019-05-04 | daily-sun.com

South Korea opens first hiking trail along the DMZ

Sun Online Desk

4th May, 2019 05:15:07 printer

South Korea opens first hiking trail along the DMZ

South Korea has opened a new hiking trail along the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), the border which separates it from North Korea .

The 4km-wide, 240km-long zone has served as the border between the two countries since 1953.

The new trail, which is in Goseong in the eastern region, is the first of three new walks being created as part of efforts to transform the DMZ into a symbol of peace.

The other two trails are expected to open in Paju, in the western region, and Cheorwon in the central region.

Visitors who choose to embark on the hikes will be taken on a guided walking tour. They will need to apply online to be granted permission to take part.

Want to see what the DMZ is like? Mirror Travel visited the border back in 2012 - you can check out our photos from the trip for a sneak peek.

The 'Peace Trail' has been approved by the United Nations Command, who said that efforts were put in place for "assuring visitors their safety remains paramount".


Gen. Robert Abrams, leader of the UNC, in a statement to CNN : "United Nations Command and the ROK [South Korea] government have demonstrated superb teamwork, collaboration and coordination throughout the entire 'peace trail' process and will continue to do so.

"The ROK military has worked extremely long hours to ensure the success of this very important initiative, while assuring visitors their safety remains paramount."

It's worth noting that despite its name, the DMZ is still a heavily-militarised area, and there continue to be tensions between South Korea and North Korea.

In fact, the Foreign Office warns in its official South Korea Travel advice that "If you’re in the area of the DMZ, you should take extra care and follow the advice of the local authorities."

 

The official advice says that that the two countries have renewed direct contact and pledged to agree a peace treaty, but warns tensions can "still change with little notice".

It explains: "In the past, periods of diplomatic engagement have failed to be sustained. This has led to further missile or nuclear tests by North Korea and a return to instability in the region.

"The level of tension and the security situation can therefore still change with little notice. Tensions usually rise around the time of South Korean-US military exercises. In the past, heightened tensions haven’t affected daily life."

 

Mirror


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