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Inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom reopens to press; Northern side unkempt and silent Updated: 2022-07-19 17:06:46 KST

Tourists to the Demilitarized Zone dividing the two Koreas can finally book tours again to the truce village of Panmunjom, including the famous Joint Security Area.
They'd been suspended for months in the last wave of COVID-19.
Today, the press got an exclusive tour.
Our Unification Ministry correspondent Han Seong-woo has this report.

Panmunjom a symbol of the Korean War, a divided Korean Peninsula and decades of efforts to achieve peace.
On Tuesday, United Nations Command, in cooperation with South Korea's Unification Ministry reopened Panmunjom to the press just one week after public tours to the Joint Security Area resumed for the first time in half a year.
COVID-19 had forced the closure of the inter-Korean truce village to the public since January eighteenth, but tours can now be booked again on the website of the Panmunjom Tourist Support Center.
Tours are held once a day, four days a week on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays with a limit of forty visitors per session.
On a clear day, from Panmunjom's guard posts, the Kaesong Industrial Complex can be seen on the other side and also North Korean troops walking through Kijong-dong Village.
On Tuesday's media tour, no North Korean personnel were seen outdoors at the JSA.
An international political and military affairs officer with the U.N. Command attributes that to Pyeongyang's precautions against COVID-19.
But at least one North Korean soldier was seen inside the main building on the other side taking photos of the media delegation.
By giving tours of Panmunjom, UN Command aims to raise public awareness of the security conditions on the Korean Peninsula and educate visitors about the terms of the Korean Armistice that "underpin peace and stablity."
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News.
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