Speech at the event of opening the Paju section of the DMZ Peace Trails
10:00 on August 9, 2019 at the Dorasan Station
Unification Minister Kim Yeon Chul
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
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
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.