Third, final DMZ hiking trail to open next month

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Third, final DMZ hiking trail to open next month

Korea said Friday it will open the third and final hiking trail along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas next month.

The western section of the DMZ trail in Paju will be available to the public under the DMZ Peace Trail program starting Aug. 10, according to the government.

The DMZ, which is about 250 kilometers (155 miles) long and 4 kilometers wide, is one of the world’s most heavily fortified borders, with the rival Koreas technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The tour project is part of Seoul’s efforts to allow visitors to experience inter-Korean peace and the security situation on the Korean Peninsula. The first DMZ Peace Trail launched in Goseong County, Gangwon, in April, followed by the second one in Cheorwon, County, Gangwon, last month.

The Paju course, which will be around 20 kilometers for a round trip, will start from the Imjingak Pavilion and lead to a demolished guard post via the Dorasan Observatory.

The guard post is one of 10 in the DMZ that South Korea demolished in accordance with the inter-Korean military accord signed in September last year aimed at reducing tensions and building trust. The two sides agreed to remove 11 guard posts each but later decided to disarm and keep one each for their historic value.

The Paju trail program will run twice a day for five days, except Mondays and Thursdays. Up to 20 people can join the course at one time, and the trip will be made mostly by bus.

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