|A South Korean soldier stands guard during a tour of the Joint Security Area on the border with North Korea on May 1, 2019. Korea Times file|
The 14-day-long examination period required for South Koreans' tours to the demilitarized border village of Panmunjom may be cut to a three-day process, the United Nations Command (UNC) said Sunday.
The UNC said it is currently discussing the simplification plan with the South Korean government.
"The 14-day examination required for Koreans wishing to visit the Joint Security Area (JSA) is South Korea's own regulation which the UNC has been implementing for over than 10 years for South Korea," the UNC said.
After confirming the South Korean government's position not to retain the 14-day process, the UNC is planning to cooperate with the Ministry of Unification to adopt a new rule, said the UNC, which authorizes human traffic through the JSA.
Currently, a maximum of 14 days are required in security clearance for South Korean visitors to the border area while an average of three days are needed to approve a non-Korean's visit.
The upcoming simplification decision is expected to shorten the process for Koreans to the same three days required for foreigners.
The UNC is planning to resume tourist visits to the JSA as soon as next month after they were suspended in October last year due to outbreaks of the African swine fever in the area. (Yonhap)