Would you walk this new hiking route in Korea's DMZ?

2019-04-30 15:00 - Gabi Zietsman
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There are many ways to promote peace between countries that have decades of animosity and war behind them - and perhaps a hiking route on its border is one of them.

Peace talks between North and South Korea have gone so well that the development of hiking trails in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) have been approved by the United Nations Command, reports CNN Travel.

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The road leading into the Korean DMZ in eastern Ko

The DMZ and the Diamond Mountains. (Photo: iStock)

But what makes the DMZ such an ideal spot for hikes is the fact that wildlife has thrived in the supposed 'no man's land' without interference from humans. The Peace Trail project aims to retain this 257km-long and 4km-wide area's conservation status with the implementation of these hiking trails.

The first approved trail will be in Goseong in the Gangwaon Province on the east side of the Korean Peninsula, which saw its first hikers on the anniversary of the Panmunjom Declaration which officially ended the Korean War last year.

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But what is there to see?

The first hikers started out at the Unification Observatory on the way to Mount Kumgang Observatory, their trek passing the iconic barbed-wire fences of the DMZ.

It has become home to many endangered wildlife, and South Korea's National Institute of Ecology has noted that over 6 000 different species of flora and fauna roaming this no man's land.

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DMZ, SOUTH KOREA - 26 September 2014: North Korean

An abandoned North Korean town on the edge of the DMZ. (Photo: iStock)

Some of the animals that can be seen include red-crowned and white-naped cranes, mandarin ducks, musk and water deer, mountain goats and the rare Amur leopard.

The DMZ is also critical as a breeding stopover for migratory birds from China and Russia. 

fiying crane

White-naped cranes. (Photo: iStock)

With these hiking routes, it is hoped that both South and North Korea can come together to protect this unique conservation area while fulfilling their peace goals for future generations.

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Walking crane

(Photo: iStock)

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