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Moon Proposes DMZ Peace Zone in Korean Peninsula Blueprint

News2019-09-25

Anchor: President Moon Jae-in has proposed turning the heavily fortified demilitarized zone dividing the two Koreas into a territory of peace.  During his speech at the UN General Assembly, Moon said, by hosting various UN agencies, the DMZ peace zone would guarantee safety for North Korea as well as bring lasting peace to South Korea. 
Kim Bum-soo has this report. 

Report: President Moon Jae-in has proposed transforming the demilitarized zone(DMZ) dividing the two Koreas into an international peace zone.

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"If we designate the area connecting Panmunjeom and Gaeseong in North Korea as a Peace and Cooperation District and transform it into a zone where both Koreas and the international community can jointly explore the path to prosperity on the Korean Peninsula -- and if the DMZ comes to house UN offices already stationed in the two Koreas and other international organizations related to peace, ecology and culture and emerge as a center for research on peace, peacekeeping, arms control and trust building -- it can become an international peace zone in name as well as substance."

During his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, the South Korean president introduced his blueprint for peace on the Korean Peninsula, reaffirming "zero tolerance for war" as an underlying principle. 

[Sound bite: President Moon Jae-in (Korean)]
"It has also become a symbolic space steeped in history, which embraces both the tragedy of division as embodied by the Joint Security Area, guard posts and barbed-wire fences as well as the yearning for peace. The DMZ is a common heritage of humankind and its value must be shared with the whole world. Once peace is established between the two Koreas, I will work together with North Korea to inscribe the DMZ as a UNESCO World Heritage Site."

The two Koreas are still technically at war as the North and the UN in 1953 only signed an armistice agreement. Serving as a buffer zone between the two Koreas, the four-kilometer wide demilitarized zone spanning east to west across the peninsula has ironically become a pristine green zone. 

Seoul believes, however, that it would take 15 years to remove its landmines planted in the DMZ.

During his speech, Moon also highlighted his "peace economy" initiative with North Korea, in which the two Koreas jointly contribute to economic development in East Asia.  

Moon's proposals come as the U.S. and North Korea are seeking to resume working-level denuclearization talks.

On the sidelines of the UN gathering, Moon and U.S. President Donald Trump held bilateral talks just a day earlier, sharing ways to produce practical outcomes from the U.S.-North Korea dialogue. 
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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