En­tire Deok­su­g­ung walk­way opened to pub­lic

The Korea Times - - NATIONAL - By Kim Hyun-bin hyun­[email protected]­re­atimes.co.kr

For the first time in 60 years, the en­tire path sur­round­ing a royal palace in down­town Seoul was opened to the pub­lic, Fri­day.

The 70-me­ter sec­tion of the 1.1-kilo­me­ter Deok­su­g­ung Palace Stonewall Walk­way was oc­cu­pied by the British Em­bassy in Korea and re­mained off-lim­its to pedes­tri­ans, but was re­turned af­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the Seoul Met­ro­pol­i­tan Gov­ern­ment and the em­bassy.

“Since 2014, Mayor Park Won-soon, along with the Cul­tural Her­itage Ad­min­is­tra­tion (CHA), has held talks with the British Em­bassy in Korea to re­turn the land and the ef­forts have fi­nally reaped fruit,” the city gov­ern­ment said.

A com­mem­o­ra­tive cer­e­mony was held near the palace wall and Mayor Park, CHA head Chung Jae-suk, British Am­bas­sador to Korea Si­mon Smith and U.S. Am­bas­sador to Korea Harry Har­ris at­tended the event, among other guests.

Since 1959, 170 me­ters of the walk­way had been off-lim­its to the pub­lic as the em­bassy held ju­ris­dic­tion, but 100 me­ters of the path­way were re­turned in ad­vance in Au­gust of last year.

The em­bassy was op­posed to open­ing the re­main­ing sec­tion due to se­cu­rity rea­sons, but the lo­cal gov­ern­ment and the CHA promised to build a road in­side the palace that leads to the path­way and an exit by the stone wall for the em­bassy. The em­bassy and the palace are di­vided by the wall.

Korea Times photo by Shin Sang-soon

From left, Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon, British Am­bas­sador to Korea Si­mon Smith and Cul­tural Her­itage Ad­min­is­tra­tion head Chung Jae-suk walk along the Deok­su­g­ung Palace Stonewall Walk­way in Seoul, Fri­day.

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