Introduction

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Military Demarcation Line
(Boundary line for the South and the North)

The Military Demarcation Line is surrounded by the Demilitarized Zone under the provisions of the Armistice (cease-fire) Agreement signed on July, 1953. The Military Demarcation Line runs 155miles and separates the South and the North. Southern and Northern boundaries of the DMZ are located 2km apart from the MDL.The Demilitarized Zone, which consists of the area between Southern and Northern boundaries of the DMZ, was established to serve as a buffer zone to prevent any means of provocative action and collision between the South and the North.
The civilian off-limit line was set up near the southern boundary of DMZ creating the civilian off-limit area, and its exact location varies from 5 to 20km away from Southern boundary of the DMZ. The civilian off-limit area is different from the actual DMZ where installation of military facilities, station of armed troops and positioning of weapons are prohibited under the provisions of the Armistice Agreement.Because of its low population density and restrained development, the civilian off-limit area was able to maintain excellent level of natural environment. Along with the DMZ, the area recently is highly valued for environmental resource and undisrupted ecosystem.
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DMZ
guard on duty at fence
guard on duty at check point

 

Background

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DMZ
The DMZ and the cease-fire line was established in July 1953 as a result of the Korean War that started in 1950 as well as an effort of the US and then Soviet Union to disarm Japan by separating the Korean peninsula into two parts along the 38th parallel line.The cease-fire line is a separation line for front that was established on 27th July, 1953, following up the Armistice Agreement signed between the commander of the UN forces, the commander of the Chinese People’s Army, and the commander of the North Korean People’s Army. It is stated on Article 1 and Clause 1 of the Armistice Agreement that both party will establish a single military demarcation line to
secure the demilitarized zone by mutually retreating 2 km from both party. The ‘cease-fire line’ indicates the ‘Military Demarcation Line’. Unlike the DMZ which was agreed upon by both parties, the ‘civilian off-limit line’ was established from an independent decision of South Korea. The civilian off-limit line indicates the boundary line whose locations vary between 5 to 20m south of the southern boundary of the DMZ. The purpose is to control the civilian access into the hazardous area near the DMZ, to prevent the civilians from being exposed to a dangerous situation, to prevent information leakage and to protect military facilities.The area between the southern boundary of the DMZ and the civilian off-limit line can be classified as an area which was borne as an offspring from the MDL and thus dividing the peninsula, and an area where the civilian lives are strictly under control and the development is limited, and also an area the nature maintains its pure state thanks to the restriction on the public access.The civilian off-limit area is where freedoms of inhabitation, movement, choice of occupation, and ownership of personal property are highly restricted and thus civilian entrances are allowed only within limited scope.
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Line drawing
MDL
Indication sign for civilian off-limit line