Number of cross-border visitors surges on increased exchanges: ministry


The number of South and North Koreans who made cross-border visits during the first nine months of this year surged over 30 percent as economic, social, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between the Koreas expanded, a government report showed Saturday.

According to the report released by the Unification Ministry, a total of 102,809 people from the two countries made cross-border visits during the January-to-September period, up 33.6 percent from the same period of the previous year.

Of the total that excluded South Koreans who visited the North’s Mount Geumgang, 102,079 were South Koreans going to the North, and only 730 North Koreans visited the South, it added.

Exchanges in the economic sector were most brisk with a total of 69,729 people crossing the border, followed by 9,924 for social and cultural exchanges, and 7,260 for humanitarian purposes, the report showed.

Meanwhile, inter-Korean trade during the nine months amounted to US$1.22 billion, up 12.7 percent from a year earlier, the report noted.

The countries remain technically at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.


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