Actress Lee Young-ae has been appointed a "peace ambassador" charged with publicizing the environmental value and peacemaking potential of the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.
Lee was appointed by Gyeonggi Province Governor Kim Moon-soo on Yonggang Bridge, an off-limits military area in Yeoncheon on Tuesday. She took a walk with immigrant wives and Korean War veterans.
Lee will engage in various activities to conserve the ecosystem of the DMZ, which has prospered since it has been virtually empty of people for 60 years, as well as peace, cross-border exchanges and development.
Actress Lee Young-ae (right) takes a tour of the frontline with provincial officials and soldiers in Yeoncheon, Gyeonggi Province on Tuesday. /Courtesy of Gyeonggi Provincial Government
A provincial government spokesman said that it appointed Lee given that she starred in the 2000 blockbuster film "Joint Security Area," which deals with the friendship between South and North Korean soldiers surrounding a fatal shooting incident within the DMZ. The province expects Lee's international fame to boost the image of the DMZ as a space of peace and eco-friendliness.
Meanwhile, senior provincial officials met in Paju and Yeoncheon the same day to discuss the concept of a "DMZ Peace Park," which President Park Geun-hye suggested in her speech before the U.S. Congress in May.
One idea is regrouping a vast frontline area covering the estuary of the Han River, Paju, Yeoncheon, Cheorwon and Goseong in a DMZ park belt.