U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visits DMZ with South Korean counterpart

The U.S. Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis has visited Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with South Korean Defense Minister Song Young-moo on Oct. 27.

The U.S.-South Korean counterparts made joint statements today at Freedom House in the Joint Security Area after a tour of the “Truce Village” there and Observation Post Oullette. The Joint Security Area is the only portion of the DMZ where North and South Korean forces stand face-to-face

“I’m here today to reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the South Korean people,” the secretary said.

“To the south lies a vibrant country, a vibrant economy, a free country, and it’s underpinned by peace-loving members of a free society,” Mattis said of South Korea. “Behind me, to the north, an oppressive regime that shackles its people, denying their freedom, their welfare and their human dignity in pursuit of nuclear weapons in the means of delivery, in order to threaten [others] with catastrophe.”

The Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), informally known as the 38th Parallel, is a strip of land running across the Korean Peninsula that divides the Peninsula roughly in half.

It is established by the provisions of the Korean Armistice Agreement, signed between North Korea, China and the United Nations in 1953, to serve as a buffer zone between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (ROK, South Korea).

The DMZ is 250 kilometres (160 miles) long, and about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) wide.


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