One Step Closer to Unification of Korean Peninsula: 100 Participants Complete 155-Mile Walkathon for Peace and Prosperity along DMZ
Createdd 2019-08-20 Hit 14
○ Closing ceremony for the 155-Mile Walkathon along the DMZ held on August 20 at the DMZ Eco Tour Support Center, Paju
– At noon in the performance hall on the first floor of the center
○ 100 participants completed the 250-km course connecting Goseong and Paju from August 5 to 20
– Participants shared the feeling that they are one step closer to the era of unification.
At about 11:30 AM on August 20, 100 people, led by a bearer of the Korean national flag, walked into the DMZ Eco Tour Support Center in Imjingak Pyeonghwa Nuri Park, with brisk steps.
They were the 100 participants of the 155-mile Walkathon along the DMZ in the provinces of Gyeonggi and Gangwon who completed the full course connecting Goseong County in Gangwon Province at the eastern end of the DMZ and Paju City in Gyeonggi Province during a period of 16 days after the launching ceremony at Imjingak Pavilion on August 5.
They walked over 250 kilometers, undaunted by a heat wave with daytime highs of 30℃, heavy rains, or steep mountainous passes, from Goseong County in Gangwon Province to Paju in Gyeonggi Province, passing through Inje, Yanggu, Hwacheon, Cheorwon, and Yeoncheon.
The participants were gratified that they had walked through various places along the DMZ and experienced its history and ecology. In particular, they had the rare experience of walking across Unification Bridge, visiting Victory Observation Post, and appreciating the pristine natural scenery of the DMZ when they passed through the areas within the Civilian Control Line that are not normally accessible.
They also freely shared their opinions about the value of the DMZ and peace at a talk concert attended by Gyeonggi Vice Governor for Peace Lee Hwa-yeong and Gyeonggi provincial lawmakers. At this event, they shared the feeling that Korea is one step closer to the era of unification.
“This walkathon in the DMZ that divides the Korean Peninsula in this age of peace made an unforgettable memory. I hope that more people will walk along this trail and cultivate their hope for peace and unification,” said Kim Hak-myeon, who served as the leader of the participant team.
Gyeonggi Province held a closing ceremony to celebrate the participants’ completion of the course, which was attended by Gyeonggi Province’s Peace and Cooperation Bureau Director General Shin Myeong-seop and Gyeonggi Tourism Organization President Yu Dong-gyu.
A certificate and a badge were awarded to each of the 100 participants who completed the course. At the ceremony, the video footage of their journey was screened and they looked back on their 16-day tour of the DMZ, refreshing impressions from the tour.
Of particular note, Asia Campbell (aged 13, Yongmun Elementary School in Busan) dubbed “Little Ambassador” who attracted attention at a luncheon for Korean and UN war veterans held at the Blue House last June, and Alberto Mondi, an Italian TV personality, attended the ceremony as special guests.
Peace and Cooperation Bureau Director General Shin Myeong-seop said, “The path to peace is a tough road, but we must follow it. The steps of the 100 participants who completed the 155-mile DMZ tour will lay the foundation for the fulfillment of Korea’s dream for peace and unification,” said Peace and Cooperation Bureau Director General Shin Myeong-seop.
The walkathon, hosted by Gyeonggi Province and organized by the Gyeonggi Tourism Organization under the theme of “Let’s walk together along the 155-mile DMZ trail for peace,” aimed to remind the public of the meaning of the DMZ, full of life and peace, and raise public awareness of peace.