Posted May. 15, 2015 07:19,
Around 170 meter-long stone-wall road around the Deoksu Palace, which has been blocked by the British Embassy in Korea, is expected to be re-connected. If the road is restored, Koreans can enjoy walking on the entire 1.1 km-long stone-wall walkway around the palace in 131 years since the British Embassy was built in 1884.
Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon and British Ambassador to Korea Charles Hay signed an MOU for a project to restore the stone-wall road behind the Deoksu Palace at the British Embassy in Seoul on May 14. Currently, 170 meters of the stone-wall road is isolated, including 70 meters occupied by the embassy site and 100 meters of a connecting road to the embassy, of which passengers access is controlled. Steel gate prohibits unauthorized access of the general public at the back door to the British embassy. Also CCTVs are installed to monitor the road.
According to the MOU, both parties will discuss necessary measures to open the blocked stone-wall road after on-site inspection by security engineers from the U.K. in the next month. If re-connection is determined through detailed discussions with the embassy within this year, Seoul City plans to create 3~6 meter wide and 170-meter road for pedestrians. Seoul is also planning to show changing of the guard between Korean traditional gatekeepers and British royal guards.
However, British Embassy showed cautious attitude, saying, This MOU represents commitment for continuous cooperation with Seoul City for opening of Deoksu Palace stone-wall road. While mentioning the recent attack against the U.S. Ambassador Mark Lippert, British Ambassador Hay said that security and safety issues of the embassy staff must be addressed first. Final decision on whether or not to restore the stone-wall road will be made later according to future rounds of discussions.