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Speeches and Contributions

Speech at the event of opening the Paju section of the DMZ Peace Trails


Speech at the event of opening the Paju section of the DMZ Peace Trails

10:00 on August 9, 2019 at the Dorasan Station
By Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul

Good morning.

It is good to see you all. I am Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul.

I would like to express my gratitude to Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung, Gwangju Superintendent of Education Jang Hui-kook, and all others for joining us today.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my special thanks to Paju Mayor Choi Jong-whan and those involved in returning the Paju section of the DMZ Peace Trails to the people so quickly for their hard work.

The Paju section of the DMZ Peace Trails will actually be open to the public tomorrow.

It will be the third such opening following the Goseong section on April 27 and the Cheorwon section on June 1.

Senior members of separated families, local residents, and students are joining us today. They are special protagonists, and they will take the first steps along the Paju section.

I would like to extend my congratulations to all of you, and I hope that you have a great time despite the high temperature today.

Today, you will see for yourself the change of the DMZ, which is being reborn as a space for peace and cooperation.

Last year, the two Koreas agreed to transform the DMZ into a true peace zone in the September 19 inter-Korean military agreement, and this led to the removal of some guard posts within the DMZ on a trial basis.

You will see the places where the guard posts were located.

The head of Daeseong Village is here with us today, and I believe that the residents there feel the new peace that is upon on the DMZ more deeply than anyone else.

Peace can change daily life. The government will make the peace enduring by implementing the September 19 inter-Korean military agreement and building military trust.

I hope that all of you and many others who will visit the Paju section of the DMZ Peace Trails can feel for themselves the pain of national division and the importance of peace.

With the opening of the Paju section, all trial sections of the DMZ Peace Trails will be open to the public.

I expect that if the Goseong, Cheorwon, and Paju trial sections establish themselves as the ‘peace trails’ and more and more people visit the DMZ, more people will finally be able to enjoy true peace in their lives.

It will also serve as an important opportunity to create new jobs and revitalize the local economy in the border regions.

Peace is a land, and the economy is a flower that blossoms on that land. The flower of a peace economy will first blossom in the border regions.

The government will develop the DMZ as a central space of peace where history, ecology, and culture come together while closely cooperating with the local governments of the border regions.

In particular, it will finish the survey on routes in the east-west cross-section of the DMZ Peace Trails by the end of the year and plans to build local bases by 2022 to make them international attractions.

I ask for your continued interest in the DMZ and the border regions. I also ask you to spread the word about the beauty of the DMZ Peace Trails, which you will soon walk today.

Thank you.