Unification ministry plans to hold talks with U.N. Command to resume Panmunjom tour

SEOUL, South Korea's unification ministry plans to hold talks with the U.N. Command to resume a tour program for the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom, according to a ministry official on Sunday.

The tour program for ordinary citizens has been suspended since mid-July, when an American soldier crossed the inter-Korean border into North Korea during a tour to the Joint Security Area in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), a rare unauthorized trip that led to his detention in the North.

The soldier, Pvt. Travis King, was expelled from North Korea later September and returned to the U.S.

Ministry officials conducted an on-site inspection of Panmunjom late last month to resume the tour program for ordinary citizens, the official said.

The ministry "plans to soon discuss a resumption schedule with the U.N. Command," the official said.

The U.N. Command oversees activities in the DMZ as an enforcer of the armistice that halted the 1950-53 Korean War.

Source: Yonhap News Agency