The government has earmarked W40.2 billion to build a peace park in the demilitarized zone next year (US$1=W1,073), a spokesman said Tuesday.
The park was one of President Park Geun-hye's main campaign promises and implementation has been handed to the Unification Ministry. The president made the proposal to North Korea in her Liberation Day address on Aug. 15.
Some 60 percent of the money of W24 billion will be used to clear the area of landmines.
But some experts worry that the government is imprudent to secure a budget before the North has agreed. Lim Eul-chul at Kyungnam University said that the North may use it as an opportunity to justify its threat to scrap the armistice.
"The budget won't be executed unless there's any agreement between the two Koreas," a Unification Ministry official said. "It's just been earmarked in preparation for an inter-Korean agreement next year."