April 05, 2019 08:18
South Korea is opening up three hiking trails leading up to the demilitarized zone so civilians access the area for the first time since the armistice in 1953.
The trails will lead out of the three border towns of Paju, Cheorwon and Goseong. The government plans to start a pilot trail late this month in Goseong that visitors can use to get as close as possible to the DMZ. The opening dates for the trails in Paju and Cheorwon have not been set.
Some are concerned about safety since the trails will lead through certain areas where the military is active. But civilians will be escorted by heavily armed soldiers and wear bullet-proof vests and helmets.
The Defense Ministry is in discussions with UN Command to get approval for civilians to enter the DMZ and ensure their safety.
Those hoping to walk along the trail in Goseong can apply for a draw on the websites of the Ministry of Interior and Safety and the Korea Tourism Organization starting April 11.
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