SEOUL, April 3 (UPI) -- An area near South Korea's side of the demilitarized zone off-limits to the public will be converted into a hiking trail by late April.
The border region located in Goseong County in Gangwon Province will reopen as the "DMZ peace trail." Other areas, including the central region near Cheorwon and Paju in the west are also under consideration for a reopening, South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported.
South Korea's defense ministry confirmed Wednesday the DMZ peace trail will open late April. The trail will follow the coastal barbed-wire fences that run from the Unification Observatory in Goseong County to the Mount Kumgang Observatory. Visitors will walk through an area under military supervision.
Yonhap reported Wednesday the project follows an inter-Korea agreement signed in September. The two sides had agreed to turn the DMZ into a peace zone. In 2018, Seoul and Pyongyang withdrew from 11 guard posts inside the DMZ.
The budget for the trails is about $4 million, according to the unification ministry.
The Korean DMZ is one of the last remaining borders of the Cold War. The 1950-53 Korean War began amid civil unrest and conflict between anti-communist brigades and suspected rebels, which often resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians.
One incident, the Jeju Massacre or uprising, observed its 71st anniversary on Wednesday.
The massacre of ordinary Koreans that took place starting April 3, 1948, occurred in a region of the South that had exercised a greater degree of political independence than the rest of the country, following liberation on Aug. 15, 1945. Many of the victims were labeled traitors after South Korea's parliament outlawed the Workers' Party of South Korea in 1948.
South Korea's defense ministry for the first time in its history expressed regret over the incident, Sisa Journal reported Wednesday.
President Moon Jae-in said in a separate statement his "heart is heavy" and that he would do his best to resolve the issue of psychological trauma for victims, and work toward further reparations, according to the report.