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KOREAN PENINSULA 27 Jul 2013 Armistice signed 60 years ago

The two halves of the Korean Peninsula, with their allies, fought a bitter war from 25 Jun 1950 to 27 Jul 1953, when an armistice was signed

July 27, 2012 - NULL

KOREAN PENINSULA 27 Jul 2013 Armistice signed 60 years ago

The two halves of the Korean Peninsula, with their allies, fought a bitter war from 25 Jun 1950 to 27 Jul 1953, when an armistice was signed but not a peace agreement. Sixty years on, relations remain hostile. Occasional openings for peace occur, and the Dec 2012 South Korean election could create another. Environmentalists are thinking ahead to what reunification would mean to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the 2.5-mile by 155-mile corridor separating North and South Korea where wildlife and plant species have flourished since it became a

KOREAN PENINSULA 27 Jul 2013 Armistice signed 60 years ago

The two halves of the Korean Peninsula, with their allies, fought a bitter war from 25 Jun 1950 to 27 Jul 1953, when an armistice was signed but not a peace agreement. Sixty years on, relations remain hostile. Occasional openings for peace occur, and the Dec 2012 South Korean election could create another. Environmentalists are thinking ahead to what reunification would mean to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), the 2.5-mile by 155-mile corridor separating North and South Korea where wildlife and plant species have flourished since it became a buffer. During a recent biodiversity conference in South Korea, experts predicted a free-for-all for cropland in the DMZ in the event of peace, and called for international protection for the zone to safeguard it. On a peninsula short of arable land, safeguarding could be an uphill battle.

South Korean front-runner Park Geun-hye says that if elected, she is willing to meet the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un.

The core of the DMZ, described in a CNN report on the 50th anniversary of the armistice as the "thin green line," was deliberately depopulated. Reporting on the recent meeting in Jeju, South Korea, of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature observed in the Guardian newspaper that the clearing of the buffer zone created a haven for at least 67 of the world's most endangered species of birds, mammals, reptiles and insects. The meeting is described as the world's biggest conservation conference.

North Korea wasn't represented at the Congress, a setback for action at the meeting on creating the protected zone.

The immediate worry is for the outskirts of the DMZ, the 3-8-mile-wide bordering strip of land that runs the length of the zone. It is known as the civilian restricted zone. Environmentalists at the congress report that agricultural development is encroaching on its biodiversity, destroying habitat and plant life. The concerns are not new. They were being raised at the 50th anniversary of the armistice. (WRITTEN NOV 2012)

Korean War, armistice, Korea, North Korea, South Korea, 1953, 60th anniversary, Demilitarized Zone, DMZ, reunification, 2012 South Korean election, habitat, biodiversity, arable land, environmentalists, wildlife haven, endangered species, July 1953

RELATED READING:

End Korean War Jul 1953
www.history.com/this-day-in-history/armistice-ends-the-korean-war

Wildlife haven in the Korean DMZ under threat (Guardian 6 Sep 2012)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/sep/06/wildlife-haven-korean-dmz-threat

Korea's DMZ: The thin green line (CNN 25 Aug 2003)
http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/east/08/22/korea.bio.dmz/

Date written/update: 2012-07-27