Entire Deoksugung walkway opened to public
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.
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.