Running unbroken down the entire length of the Korean peninsulathe Baekdu-daegan is a 1,500km mountain range starts at the Janggun peak of Baekdusan Mountain in North Korea and ends in southeast part of South Korea with the Jirisan Mountain. But parts of the ridge were breached with road construction during the Japanese occupation in the first half of the 20th century.
Work has begun to restore the mountain-line in Ihwaryeong in the North Chungcheong Province with plans for completion by October. At an elevation of 650 meters, the ridge connecting Goesan county in North Chungcheong and Mungyeong in North Gyeongsang province, a central section of the ridge, was used in older times for travel by scholars of the Yeongnam area and acted as a watershed for the Han and Nakdong rivers.
Also dubbed the backbone of the Korean peninsula, the rocky ridges link most of Korea's highest peaks and half of its most sacred mountains and therefore the Baekdu-daegan is an important symbol of Korean identity and nationalism.
[Interview : Park Yeon Soo, Member Restoration Program Executive Committee]
"The restoration of the Baekdu-daegan, running through the heart of Korea, will help to revive the national spirit".
When the Japanese Empire, in 1925, cut into the ridge line, it also disturbed much of the mountain ecosystem. Hopes are that restoration will help to revitalize the environment.
[Interview : Maeng Hyeong-gyu, Minister Public Administration & Security]
"The Baekdudaegan is part of our nation's heritage. Therefore it should be restored, as it was damaged during the Japanese occupation. We will do our best to restore it".
The Korean government will begin by restoring 13 spots requiring the most urgent attention out of a total of 63 damaged sections.
Pia Kim, Arirang News.
Reporter : [email protected]
Source : www.arirang.co.kr/New... ( English Korean )
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