The number of tourists who visited key security attractions in Paju City was found to have surged sharply last year amid warming inter-Korean relations.
According to Paju City in Gyeonggi Province, some 617-thousand people last year visited the Dora Observatory and the Third Underground Tunnel located close to the Military Demarcation Line. That’s up 29 percent from 2017.
The number of people who visited Odusan Unification Observatory, established to console separated families, was also up 17 percent to stand at some 412-thousand.
In January of last year, or some three months before President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held their first summit, only 16-thousand had visited the Third Underground Tunnel and around 22-thousand had visited the Odusan Unification Observatory.
Paju City attributed the rise in tourism traffic to many Chinese visitors making the trek to Dora Observatory where they can get a clear view of the North’s border city of Gaeseong. City officials said the strong interest in the Demilitarized Zone and the truce village of Panmunjeom following the inter-Korean summit also led to the surge in tourists.