09/01/2005, 00.00
SOUTH KOREA
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Seoul to preserve 263,000 hectare eco-zone

by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
Government sets up a 'Preservation Area' on the Paektu Taegan mountain range that cuts across the border with North Korea.

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The South Korean government announced on August 30 a plan to preserve the eco-system of the Paektu Taegan mountain range. The proposed 'Paektu Taegan Preservation Area' will cover a 263,000 hectare mountain area that runs across the intra-Korean border.

The Paektu Taegan range starts in fact from Mt. Paektu in North Korea, the highest peak in the country, and ends on Mt. Chiri in South Korea.

The plan was announced by the Office for Government Policy Coordination whose press release said: "The proposal is aimed at protecting one of the peninsula's main ecological axes from indiscriminate development by putting it under government management. All private development projects in the preserve will be restricted."

The government's announcement was widely welcomed by all Koreans with no exception, especially by those mountain lovers and environmentalists who were concerned by the growing encroachment of private companies in ecologically-sensitive areas of national interest.

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