UPDATE : 2019.11.15 FRI 17:28
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Tours to demilitarized JSA resume on southern side

Civilian tours to the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom resumed Wednesday, with access expanded to previously off-limits points, including a bridge that President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walked along during their first summit last year.

The resumption came around six months after the popular tours to the Joint Security Area (JSA) were suspended in October to facilitate joint efforts by South and North Korea to demilitarize the area. The joint efforts included the removal of mines and went ahead under an agreement to reduce military tensions signed a month earlier.

A group of civilian tourists looks around the demilitarized Joint Security Area on May 1, 2019. The tours to areas south of the Military Demarcation Line inside the JSA resumed on the day after a six-month hiatus.

"I think that what you feel here in Panmunjom is a different vibe. What once was a vibe of tension is now a vibe of peace," Lt. Col. Sean Morrow, commander of the United Nations Command (UNC) Security Battalion-Joint Security Area, told reporters. The UNC oversees activities inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the countries.

Vowing to remain firmly committed to the implementation of the inter-Korean military agreement, the commander said he looks "forward to preserving this as a place for dialogue and a place where we can earn trust and build confidence to spread peace around the Korean Peninsula."

Civilian tours to the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom resumed Wednesday, with access expanded to previously off-limits points, including a bridge that President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walked along during their first summit last year.

The resumption came around six months after the popular tours to the Joint Security Area (JSA) were suspended in October to facilitate joint efforts by South and North Korea to demilitarize the area. The joint efforts included the removal of mines and went ahead under an agreement to reduce military tensions signed a month earlier.

"I think that what you feel here in Panmunjom is a different vibe. What once was a vibe of tension is now a vibe of peace," Lt. Col. Sean Morrow, commander of the United Nations Command (UNC) Security Battalion-Joint Security Area, told reporters. The UNC oversees activities inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the countries.

Vowing to remain firmly committed to the implementation of the inter-Korean military agreement, the commander said he looks "forward to preserving this as a place for dialogue and a place where we can earn trust and build confidence to spread peace around the Korean Peninsula."(Yonhap)

Hwang Jung-ha  edt@koreapost.com

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