Rivlin Visits DMZ Between South and North Korea

President Reuven Rivlin waving at a North Korean soldier during a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone between South and North Korea, Wednesday. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday toured the demilitarized zone separating South and North Korea, in a first-ever visit by an Israeli president to the most fortified border in the world.

During the tour, which came during the president’s official visit to South Korea, Rivlin heard a briefing by the forces operating in the area, met U.N. troops stationed there and observed North Korea through binoculars.

He also came close to North Korean soldiers who were filming him from their side of the border.

“We’re in one of the places in the world that is truly the mouth of a volcano. And yet the balance between the two forces means they ensure that hostility does not break out. The whole world is watching what happens, similar to the way it views the Middle East,” Rivlin said. “Being here, you can see, learn and understand how volatile places can endanger global peace.”

Rivlin’s state visit to the country began on Sunday and continued the following day with a meeting with his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, during which the two leaders signed agreements for increased cooperation in the fields of energy and education.

On Wednesday, Rivlin’s delegation signed further agreements with South Korea on academic cooperation, including programs for student exchanges, joint research and cooperation in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and nanotechnology.

Israel and South Korea established diplomatic relations in 1962 and Israel opened an embassy in South Korea in 1992.

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