SEOUL, Korea, July 21 (Korea Bizwire) – In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice and the ensuing creation of the demilitarized zone, the Ministry of Environment held on July 19 an ecology festival at Kintex in the northwest of Seoul. The 4-kilometer-wide DMZ was formed after the July 27, 1953 armistice agreement between the United States and North Korea along the military demarcation line.
Under the slogan of “Let’s inherit valuable environmental assets for our future generations,” the event featured international symposiums to discuss ways to preserve the DMZ natural habitat and sustainable use of the land, as well as concerts and a variety of entertainment events for the general public.
In the opening ceremony, a total of 12 animal and plant species inhabiting in the demilitarized zone were selected. Of this, the red-crowned crane, the large East Asian crane considered one of the rarest bird species in the world, has been picked as a species representing the DMZ. Other species included the Asiatic black bear, flying squirrel, Eurasian otter, speckled harbor seal, Siberian musk deer, wild scarlet lily, and hana-ikari (Haleniacorniculata).
Earlier, a survey by the Ministry of Environment under way since 2008 found a total of 5,097 wild plant and animal species including 106 endangered species, confirming the popular belief that the demilitarized zone is a valuable ecological area fully deserving protection.