|2000.11.30 10:38||2000.11.30 10:38 | Eco-system Conservation|
Green Korea United had a press conference on 14th Nov. about mines around major cities and national parks in Korea. GKU claimed that a large number of landmines have been planted in and around Seoul and other large cities as well as national and provincial parks.
Kyonggi Province and South Kyongsang Province topped other areas in the number of proven mined spots with four each, followed by South Chungchong Province with three. Pusan and South Cholla Province came next with two spots each and Seoul, Taegu, Ulsan, Kangwon Province, North Kyongsang Province and North Cholla Province had one spot each.
In most of the mined places, mine-warning signs are easily found near villages, meaning the safety of civilians is threatened. Considering the rapid thaw in inter-Korean relations, GKU maintained that landmines planted in the rear areas should be removed promptly.
GKU also urged the government to join the 1997 international treaty banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of antipersonnel landmines, while compensating civilian victims of landmine accidents.
A total of 139 countries signed the international treaty, and more than 100 nations have completed the ratification process.
The International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) estimates that more than 100 million mines has been planted in 60 countries around the world. It also estimates that about 26,000 people suffer from landmine accidents per year, 60 percent of them are civilians.
In a report to the National Assembly, the Defense Ministry said an estimated 1.2 million landmines were planted in South Korea as of the end of June this year. Of the total, it said some 1.05 million mines, including about 400,000 antipersonnel mines, have been buried in the 4 km-wide Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas.
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