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  • mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato

    » 12/02/2014, 00.00


    Korea, giant Christmas Tree returns to border between North and South

    The Seoul government has granted the Christian Council of Korea to turn on the lights of the huge metal structure, topped by a cross, which will be visible up to 10 miles away. On December 23, a church service and the singing of Christmas carols.

    Seoul (AsiaNews) - After months of controversy and judicial appeals, the government has granted the Christian Council of Korea permission to rebuild the huge Christmas tree on Aegibong peak. The hill, which is directly across the border with the North, is 165 meters high. Considered by some as a tool of "psychological warfare" with the North, the metal shaft and the cross that surmounts it will be visible to  North Korean people living up to 10 kilometers from the border.

    The official announcement was made this morning by the Seoul Ministry of Defense, who also guaranteed "protection" to the Christian faithful who will gather for the lighting ceremony. The dimensions of the structure are still not clear, "between nine and 35 meters high." Seoul has not yet decided whether or not to allow the Christian group to restore the original giant tree, demolished in November after 43 years.

    For officials of the Park Geun-hye government the destruction of the old tree was "motivated by security reasons. The frame was old and dilapidated. We have not decided if the new can be as high as the original one or whether it will be smaller". The lighting ceremony is scheduled for 23 December, when the members of the Council will gather for a church service and the singing of some Christmas hymns. The tree will remain lit and visible for two weeks.

    Built in 1971 - at the height of tensions between the two Koreas - the huge frame was switched on or off according to the highs and lows of political relations between the neighbouring nations.  In 2004, to great fanfare, Seoul declared that the tree "would be lit up again" because "an agreement had been reached" with Pyongyang. However in 2010, after the sinking of the South Korean Cheonan which killed 43 people, the Christmas lights returned.


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    See also

    23/12/2010 KOREA
    After seven years, Christmas tree on border with North
    The 30-metre tree will be visible to North Koreans living across the border. Its lights were switched on last night as Christians sang Christmas carols. In the meantime, Seoul launches its most important military drills in years.

    23/12/2015 KOREA
    Korea, a sign of peace: huge Christmas tree on the border with the North "will not be turned on"
    The metal structure, 30 meters high and visible for 10 kilometers, has for years been a source of conflict between the two nations. On or off depending on the level of tension on the peninsula, it is more a political than a religious symbol. The agreement reached between the Protestant groups "a gesture of peace and harmony".

    03/12/2011 KOREA
    A Christmas tree ready to light up North Korea
    The Seoul government, after 7 years, grants permission to light the three with the cross on its top at Aegibong Peak, a hilly area less than 3 km from the border that separates the two Koreas: It will be visible to the North Korean population. North Korea attacks the "propaganda of the regime."

    24/08/2007 KOREA
    Seoul, ministers clash over maritime border with North
    Seoul’s Unification Minister urges discussion over the northern border with North Korea, which has never recognised the frontier. But the military insists it is untouchable. Fresh aid from the South arrives in the North, devastated by the floods.

    31/08/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
    Aid leaves for north, managed by Red Cross

    The first shipment includes food, clothes and medicine and it left yesterday for Nampo port. The Red Cross hopes the aid program "brings the two Koreas closer" after relations between them cooled because of the missile crisis provoked by Pyongyang in July.

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