Koreas connect road inside heavily fortified DMZ

SEOUL, Nov. 22 (Yonhap) -- The Koreas connected a 3 kilometer-long tactical road across the Military Demarcation Line inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Thursday to support a joint project to excavate Korean War remains at a notorious battle site.

The unpaved road was established at Arrowhead Ridge, or Hill 281, in Cheorwon, 90 kilometers northeast of Seoul -- a site that the two sides have designated for the project to retrieve troop remains from April to October next year.

The South's part of the road is around 1.7 kilometers long, while the North's part spans about 1.3 km. It will be used to transport personnel and equipment for the excavation work.

The Koreas' first road connection in 14 years came amid bilateral efforts to build trust and reduce military tensions, with the ultimate goal of a lasting peace regime on the divided peninsula. They built their first such cross-border road on the west coast in 2003 and the second on the east coast the following year.

"It carries a great meaning because the road was built in Cheorwon, which lies at the very center of the peninsula, for the first time since the Armistice Agreement was signed (to halt the 1950-53 Cold War conflict)," Seoul's defense ministry said in a press release.

"It is also meaningful historically as it paves the way for efforts to practically push for the joint excavation project aimed at healing the scars of war through this road that was built at the center of one of the fiercest battles," it added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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