2019金丝阁论坛最新址 Tag Archive

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Speculators drawn to DMZ

first_imgYIGIL, South Korea – “There are now three people who are interested in buying this land,” said Lee Heung-bok, a real estate agent, standing atop a hill and waving with his left hand at some 57 acres of pristine river and green mountains inhabited by wild black boars. “One person is interested in building a golf course,” he added. “Not right now, of course, but sometime in the future.” “A golf course will take more than 10 years,” said the potential buyer, Park Jae-yong, standing next to Lee and holding a newspaper over his head against the midday sun’s glare. “Right now, even if we build a golf course, nobody would be able to come in here anyway.” Yigil is a farming village by the demilitarized zone dividing South Korea from North Korea. It lies inside what is called the Civilian Control Zone, an area extending some 10 miles south of the DMZ and restricted to residents and soldiers. Others must get passes to enter the zone, where the military has restricted construction to low-lying buildings. Lee, the real estate agent, said some speculators were also buying land inside the 2.5-mile-wide DMZ itself, paying the equivalent of $1,300 an acre to the title holders. “It’s so cheap,” Lee said. “But it’s a recent phenomenon. There is the expectation that one day there will be reunification.” The site of one of the Korean War’s fiercest battles, much of Chorwon was a no man’s land until the government sent 150 war veterans here in 1967, telling them that if they de-mined the land, they could keep some of it. “We just did the work with shovels,” said Yoo Chul-hoon, 70, one of the original 150 and a resident of Daema, a village a few miles west of here. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityBarricades flank the zone’s main roads, built in such a way that they can be made to collapse and slow down invading North Korean tanks. Hanging on barbed wire alongside many forested areas are red and orange triangular signs warning about land mines. Yigil lies so close to North Korea that a tunnel leading from the North to the South, dug by North Korean soldiers, was discovered nearby in 1975. Despite all that, warming ties between South and North Korea have been drawing speculators such as Park to Yigil and other villages here in the middle of the peninsula. In the past three years, prices have risen so much that agents and locals here say even areas with land mines have doubled or tripled in value. Land next to the DMZ may fetch only $9,200 per acre – cheap by the standards of South Korea’s real estate bubble – but it could not even be given away a few years ago, real estate agents say. Prices could rise further after the summit meeting between leaders of the two Koreas. Interest in land just south of the DMZ increased after the first such meeting in 2000, as the threat of war diminished and South Korea adopted a policy of engaging the North economically and politically. Agents and officials here say buyers considering land for country houses or other developments are looking outside the Civilian Control Zone. Land inside the zone, where building is still restricted by the military, is drawing speculators. “Some have bought land-mined areas for a cheap price, de-mined them and resold them for a profit,” said Kim Young-sun, a real estate specialist at Chorwon County, which includes Yigil as well as other villages in and outside the zone. last_img read more

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