South Korea’s president on Wednesday proposed an international park on the tense border with North Korea as part of a region-wide peace initiative to put an end to constant cycles of crisis.
In an address to a joint meeting of the US Congress, President Park Geun-Hye warned that the Demilitarized Zone dividing the neighbours was in fact “the most militarized place on the planet” and a risk to the world.
“The Demilitarized Zone must live up to its name, a zone that strengthens the peace, not undermines it,” Park said.
“It is with this vision in mind that I hope to work toward an international park inside the DMZ. It will be a park that sends a message of peace to all of humanity,” she said.
The proposal, while vague in detail, marks a shift in tone from the newly elected conservative leader who vowed a day earlier with President Barack Obama to take a hard line after months of soaring tensions with North Korea.
Friction has appeared to ebb in the past week, with a US defence official saying that North Korea moved from launch site two mid-range Musudan missiles — meaning, at least for now, there will be no imminent launch.