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A historic path becomes perfect photo spot for inter-Korean summit

A historic path becomes perfect photo spot for inter-Korean summit

Posted April. 27, 2018 07:48,   

Updated April. 27, 2018 07:48


The path between T2 (the main conference room of the Military Armistice Commission) and T3 (the general conference room of the Commission), where South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet for the first time on Friday, holds historical significance witnessing the confrontation of the two Koreas since the signing of the armistice in 1953 at Panmunjom.

The most well-known figure that crossed this path is former lawmaker Lim Soo-kyung. She visited Pyongyang in 1989 to attend the World Festival of Youth and Students and returned to Seoul by crossing the path with Catholic priest Moon Kyu-hyun. In 1978, eight North Korean sailors intercepted by the South Korean Navy were repatriated via this path to the North. Some North Korean fishermen, who were accidentally drifted to the South, also walked on this path to make their way home.

There are three light blue buildings that stand on both South and North Korean territories, named T1 (Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission), T2 and T3. The T stands for temporary. “We gave them temporary names not knowing that this armistice state would remain so long,” said an official at the United Nations Command at Panmunjom.

The reason why the path between T2 and T3 are frequently used is because it is the shortest path connecting the North’s Panmungak and the South’s Freedom House. Naturally, Panmungak will show behind the North Korean leader, who will stand in the northern direction of the Military Demarcation Line, while President Moon will stand in front of the Freedom House.

The officials attending the high-level and working-level inter-Korean meetings held prior to the summit walked on the path between T1 and T2 to cross over the Military Demarcation Line. “The path between T2 and T3 was saved for the encounter of the two leaders, which will kick off the start of the summit,” said a South Korean government official.

Sang-Jun Han alwaysj@donga.com