DMZ peace trail in Cheorwon hosts special group of foreign tourists

  • 5 years ago
The Cheorwon trail is one of the three DMZ routes South Korea opened up to civilian tourists this year... in efforts to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula.
And today, a special group of tourists made a visit to witness the ongoing efforts made by the two Korea... since the historic inter-Korean summit held last year.
Our Won Jung-hwan has this story.
This group of foreign students got to walk along the DMZ peace trail in Cheorwon,… located in the center of the Korean Peninsula... right along the border that divides it.
Once they'd studied a map of the 17-kilometer trail,… they started their trek at the Monument for the Battle of Baekma,… a place that saw some of the bloodiest fighting in the Korean War.
In ten days of fighting,… Baekma Hill, which was a key military supply route for both sides, changed hands 24 times.
The Cheorwon trail was opened back in June, and since then, with demand high but spaces limited, it has hosted some 2-thousand-200 Korean tourists.
But this time, the event was organized specially for foreigners to help them better understand major events in Korean history such as the War and the DMZ.
"As you can see, visitors will continue their hike near the 250-kilometers long DMZ, walking along the wire fence that blocks access of the 4-kilometer wide zone."
Along the way, the group was informed of the ongoing peace efforts that have been underway since last year's September 19th declaration,… and actually seeing it with their own eyes, it seemed to evoked a lot of feelings.
"I wasn't around for the Korean War. A lot of people asked me how do you feel about it? It never really felt like something was there... I always hoped that the two Koreas can reunite and that will be a really amazing thing. And looking at politics and what's happening, I guess there's a possibility in my lifetime it might happen."
"We are foreigners and we are representing our countries. In my country, people don't know about North and South Korea. So I think that because I came here and I learned this, I will be able to tell my family and friends what's going on in this country and what will happen in the future."

Some of the major stops include a Korean War battleground where a historic excavation of the remains of fallen soldiers is currently underway, as well as a now-defunct guard post that troops have withdrawn from in accordance with the September military accord.
So for those who would like to walk along the Cheorwon trail, you just need to apply through the DMZ's website.
The trail will be open to hike twice a day every week, except Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Won Jung-hwan, Arirang News, Cheorwon.