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(LEAD) Panmunjom tour program to resume next month amid eased COVID-19 curbs

Defense 14:13 June 30, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in first 4 paras; MODIFIES headline)

SEOUL, June 30 (Yonhap) -- Tours to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom will resume in mid-July after months of suspension caused by COVID-19, Seoul's unification ministry said Thursday.

The tour program to the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas will restart from July 12, the ministry said in a press release. It was last suspended in January due to a rise in infection cases.

The tour program will be held once a day at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with up to 40 people allowed per tour. Visitors can sign up for the tours from 10 a.m. Friday at www.panmuntour.go.kr.

The U.N. Command (UNC), which oversees activities in the DMZ as an enforcer of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War, confirmed the program will resume in line with the South Korean government's continued easing of antivirus restrictions.

"The purpose of the UNC Commander's DMZ Education and Orientation Program is to increase public awareness of the security conditions on the Korean Peninsula and educate visitors on the terms of armistice that underpin peace and stability," the command said in a press release.

Tour buses are parked at Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, some 30 kilometers north of Seoul, on Jan. 13, 2022. (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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