South Korea in 1953 built its first guard post on its eastern coast shortly after the two Koreas concluded the military armistice ending fighting in the Korean War. (Cultural Heritage Administration)

South Korea in 1953 built its first guard post on its eastern coast shortly after the two Koreas concluded the military armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War. (Cultural Heritage Administration)

By Kang Gahui and Lee Jihae

A guard post on the country’s eastern coast will become a cultural heritage, the Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) announced on April 8.

Symbolizing the division of the Korean Peninsula and the Cold War, the guard post was the first facility of its kind built in South Korea shortly after the military armistice ending fighting in the Korean War was signed in 1953.

“The guard post vividly symbolizes the division of the two Koreas and the continuation of the Cold War. It also expresses the need for cooperation and peace between both Koreas,” the CHA said.

The guard post is located about 580 meters away from its closest North Korean counterpart, marking the shortest distance between guard posts of the two Koreas. It overlooks Geumgangsan Mountain, Haegeumgang River and Gamho Lake, which forms the backdrop for the famous Korean fairytale “The Fairy and the Woodcutter.”

In the inter-Korean summit held in September last year, Seoul and Pyeongyang had agreed to demolish this guard post but later retracted their decision as the guard post was deemed to have historic and symbolic value.

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