PAJU, South Korea, Oct. 25 (Korea Bizwire) – The city of Paju north of Seoul plans to relocate the observatory at Dorasan Station, South Korea’s northernmost station, to another site offering a better view of North Korea by the end of next year, the municipality said Tuesday.
The Paju municipality has pushed ahead with the plan to relocate Dorasan Observatory inside the Demilitarized Zone on South Korea’s western border with the North because the current facility is run-down and cannot accommodate an increasing number of visitors.
Built in 1986, the observatory is visited by about 800,000 foreign and local tourists annually. Within view are Kijong-dong, a propaganda village in the northern sector of the 4-kilometer-wide zone that separates the two Koreas, or the now-closed inter-Korean industrial park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.
The envisioned plan drawn up by the municipality calls for the construction of a facility with three stories aboveground and one story below on a 2,931-square-meter site with an investment of 8 billion won (around US$7.04 million). Construction of the observatory is scheduled to begin within this year.
The new site, located about 160 meters away from the existing one, sits nearer to the North than the current one by 11 meters, and has an altitude of 167 meters, 12 meters higher, offering a better view of the North, Paju said.
The plan came after the city government agreed with the military on the constructions terms which included the use of the current facility by an Army unit. A city official hoped that the city will open the new observatory late next year without any setbacks in the inter-Korean relations.