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Seoul may reduce civilian control area south of DMZ

The defense ministry is considering reducing the civilian control area south of the Demilitarized Zone and easing regulations on other military reservation zones for the convenience of residents, a senior official said Wednesday.

The latest move, part of President Park Geun-hye’s deregulation initiative, is aimed at making it easier for residents to exercise their land and property rights, officials said.

“We are reviewing ways to reduce or scrap some military reservation zones and adjust the civilian control area in a way that ensures troops stationed in the area can conduct military operations,” the official said.

The South Korean military has limited entry into the civilian control zone, a border area south of the heavily fortified DMZ ― a 4-kilometer-wide and 250-kilometer-long strip of land separating the two Koreas.

Since the line for the civilian control area was established after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, it has been drawn farther north three times. Currently, the line is marked 5-10 km south of the southern limit line.

If implemented, it will be the first time in six years that the line is drawn farther north to reduce the civilian control zone. (Yonhap)
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Korea Herald daum