The second inter-Korean border trail along the Demilitarized Zone that demarcates South and North Korea will be opened to civilian hikers next month, officials said Monday.
The central section of the DMZ in Cheorwon of Gangwon Province, about 90 kilometers northeast of Seoul, will be opened for the government-initiated "DMZ Peace Trail" program on June 1, the officials said.
The first DMZ Peace Trail was launched in an eastern coastal section in Goseong, Gangwon Province, on April 27, drawing hundreds of hikers to its scenic seaside routes over six days each week, with the trail closed on Mondays.
The DMZ, which is about 250 km long and 4 km wide, is one of the world's most heavily fortified borders, with the rival Koreas technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. Since the signing of the comprehensive military agreement in September last year, the two Koreas have pushed for several tension-reducing measures.
According to the officials, people wanting to walk along the Cheorwon trail can apply from Monday through the DMZ's integrated information system website (www.dmz.go.kr/english), run by the Ministry of the Interior and Safety, or Durunubi (www.durunubi.kr), an online guide to hiking in Korea produced by the Korea Tourism Organization.
The Cheorwon trail will be run twice a day, except Tuesdays and Thursdays, every week. Up to 20 people can participate in each hike.