One strip of concrete is all that separates the Korean Peninsula at the joint security area, in the perhaps inappropriately named Demilitarized Zone.
It’s actually one of the most militarized places in the world, but will soon to play host to a summit between South Korea’s president Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un.
CGTN’s Jack Barton reports.
Less than 100 meters from the dividing line stands the rapidly renovated “peace house.” The house will act as the summit center. As it is on the southern side of the DMZ, it will mark the first time ever that a DPRK leader has stepped foot inside South Korea.
If the upcoming meeting in Panmunjom goes well, it will pave the way for a summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump. Though locals, including government advisors, are unhappy those talks are not expected to be held at the DMZ.
“I want it to happen in Panmunjom. We hope the North-South summit will provide a new occasion for peace at the place that is the knife’s edge of the inter-Korean conflict,” Jin Chang-Soo, president of the Sejong Institute said.
Officials have been threshing out details in rooms straddling both sides of the frontier. In return for gradual denuclearization, Pyongyang has signaled it wants concessions. They include the lifting of sanctions, and a formal peace deal ending the war.
A truce was signed in 1953, and that ceasefire is all that still exists. These days, tourists can visit a small section of the DMZ, though always under a watchful eye.
Jim Walsh explains the historic significance of the inter-Korean summit
CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke to international security analyst Jim Walsh for his perspective on the first inter-Korean summit in more than 10 years. Walsh is a senior research associate for MIT’s Security Studies Program.