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UN Command to suspend Panmunjom tours again amid coronavirus concerns

In the file photo taken April 19, 2018, South Korean and US soldiers stand guard at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, ahead of the historic inter-Korean summit talks at the village on April 27. (Yonhap)
In the file photo taken April 19, 2018, South Korean and US soldiers stand guard at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, north of Seoul, ahead of the historic inter-Korean summit talks at the village on April 27. (Yonhap)
Tours to the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom will be suspended starting next week due to spikes in COVID-19 infections, the UN Command (UNC) said Wednesday.

The UNC will discontinue the tour program to the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, effective Tuesday, less than two months after it resumed the tours in line with the country's "living with COVID-19" scheme.

"UNC coordinated this suspension closely with the Ministry of Unification, and remains committed to supporting ROK government efforts to preventing the potential spread of COVID19," the command said in a statement, using the acronym for South Korea's official name, the Republic of Korea.

The UNC oversees activities in the DMZ. It enforces the armistice agreement that halted the 1950-53 Korean War. (Yonhap)

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