Three so-called peace trails around the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) from this month will be opened in three areas – the counties of Goseong-gun and Cheorwon-gun in Gangwon-do Province and the city of Paju in Gyeonggi-do Province – close to the inter-Korean border.
The Ministry of the Interior and Safety on April 3 said, “(The DMZ peace trail project) is a great opportunity for Koreans to feel peace,” adding, “Formerly a symbol of the Korean War and national division, the DMZ will be reborn as a forward base of peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and also a symbolic area of world peace.”
The DMZ will be opened to the public for the first time after the division of the two Koreas. The trail project is one measure to ease military tension between both sides and a follow-up step to an inter-Korean agreement signed on Sept. 19 last year on the implementation of the Historic Panmunjeom Declaration in the Military Domain.
The trail starts from Unification Observatory in Goseong-gun to Geumgangsan Mountain Observatory and then goes through Cheorwon-gun and Paju.
The trial run of the Goseong-gun section of the trail will have 20-30 people per team. Participants will be chosen at random.
Applications will be accepted from April 11 via the DMZ’s integrated information system website (https://www.dmz.go.kr/english) and Durunubi (https://www.durunubi.kr/), an online guide to hiking in Korea produced by the Korea Tourism Organization.
The Korean government said it planned this project through close discussions and site visits with the United Nations (U.N.) Command, which has jurisdiction over the DMZ. The commander of U.N. forces in Korea is expected to soon grant official approval for the project.