Cheerfully Pedaling Towards Peace on the Korean Peninsula: Successful Completion of 2019 Tour de DMZ

Createdd 2019-06-07 Hit 34

Contents

○ 2019 Tour de DMZ held on June 1
○ 1,500 participants, including nationwide cycling club members and US military personnel stationed in Korea, enjoyed the 54-km cycling course
– Enthusiastic reaction to course section within CCL area, which is normally closed to the public
– Large number of participants in competition category, which was established last year; Kim Gi-hang and Choi Mi-ju respective winners of men’s and women’s competitions

The 2019 Tour de DMZ, which offers a unique opportunity to enjoy cycling while conveying wishes for peace and appreciating the beautiful scenery of the DMZ, was held on June 1 in the DMZ areas of Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province, and Cheorwon, Gangwon Province, with 1,500 cycling enthusiasts taking part.

The event, which celebrated its seventh anniversary this year, was launched by Gyeonggi Province in 2013 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice. It has been hosted jointly by the provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon, which signed a mutual growth agreement in 2015 to develop the event into a DMZ-related tourist attraction.

This year, during the opening ceremony, all guests and participants observed a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the recent tour boat accident in Hungary.

The participants, starting from Yeoncheon Public Stadium, biked along a 54-km course that connected Yeoncheon Intersection, Sintalli Station, Baekmagoji Station, the DMZ Peace Culture Plaza, and Goseokjeong Intersection, and then looped back to the stadium.

Of particular note, the competition category attracted many participants and was held in an enthusiastic atmosphere. The rankings were determined by combining participant times from the first segment (Yeoncheon Intersection to Sinseo Intersection, 7km) and the second segment (DMZ Peace Culture Plaza to Sangsa-ri Three-way Intersection, 12.3 km) of the course.

Most participants expressed excitement about the second section, which extended along the DMZ southern limit line, as the area is normally closed to the public.

Kim Gi-hang (age 42; from Seongnam City, Gyeonggi Province), who won the men’s competition, expressed his joy, saying: “I’m so happy to win this year’s Tour de DMZ. It is very meaningful to me, as the competition was held in the DMZ.”

Choi Mi-ju (age 38; from Cheonan City, South Chungcheong Province), who took first place in the women’s competition, said: “I have practiced for this competition for a long time. I was happy to enjoy riding in this place that we cannot visit at any other time, and I hope to participate in the next Tour de DMZ if possible.”

This event was attended by Vice Governor for Peace Lee Hwa-yeong, who oversees Gyeonggi Province’s projects to promote peace on the Korean Peninsula. He also participated in the ride to encourage participants.

“The DMZ is no longer a symbol of division and conflict, but rather of peace and harmony. We will do our best to promote the value of the DMZ, in which the history, culture, and nature of Korea is preserved, and to develop various related content and ecosystem conservation projects,” said Vice Governor Lee.