unification minister-truce village

SEOUL, March 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae on Friday paid his first visit as the head of the inter-Korean affairs ministry to the truce village of Panmunjom and an inter-Korean transit office.

In his visit to the Dorasan Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) office in Paju, north of Seoul, Ryoo, who took office early last week, underlined the important role the transit point will play in building trust with the North. Trust building is the goal of President Park Geun-hye's signature policy toward North Korea.

The CIQ serves as the major route for inter-Korean trips and trade. Late President Roh Moo-hyun crossed the inter-Korean border through the transit office in 2007 to hold a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Workers and vehicles heading to the Kaesong Industrial Complex, an inter-Korean economic project in the North Korean city of Kaesong, pass this office and cross the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas.

During the visit, Ryoo was also briefed about the latest information on the truce village, according to the ministry.

He also met soldiers guarding the region and asked for their efforts to better secure the safety of South Korean citizens, the ministry also said.

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