The Inter-Korean Transit Office is an organization affiliated with South Korea’s Ministry of Unification. The office handles all work related to access by rail and road between South and North Korea. Since the Inter-Korean Summit in 2000, inter-Korean exchanges have become more frequent, so the transit office was established to handle issues related to customs, immigrations, and quarantine. The office is comprised of thirteen institutions, including the Ministry of Justice, the Korea Customs Service, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Ministry of National Defense, and the National Police Agency, in addition to conducting inspections and providing overall support.
The office has two locations, each of which is located near a railway station. One is in the city of Paju, Gyeonggi Province (known as the Gyeonggui Railway Line), and the other is in the City of Goseong in Gangwon Province (known as the Donghae Railway Line). The Gyeonggui Line provides service up to Dorasan Station, but it can run to the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North and even across Eurasia if the relations between the two Koreas improve. The Donghae Line provides service to Jejin Station and handles the customs processes for tourists visiting Mt. Geumgang. Many people have used these offices for businesses and tourism purposes, and even separated families have even used it to travel between South and North Korea. The office is strategically important as a base bridging the division between South and North Korea. Through this exhibition the Inter-Korean Transit Office will expand beyond its existing passive function and expand the “peaceful, cultural, and ecologically calm space” into the DMZ, and actively promote cultural exchange between South and North Korea.
About the Cultural Cooperation Team
After the Inter-Korean Summit in 2018, the Ministry of Unification aimed to support and establish a peaceful agenda in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). To fulfill this objective, the Cultural Cooperation Team was formed in October 2020, as part of the Inter-Korean Transit Office, to take charge of creative arts and cultural projects and to promote the ‘DMZ Peaceful Unification Cultural Space’. The objective was to transform the DMZ into a cultural base for peace and reunification between the two Koreas, return the DMZ area to the people, and utilize it as a place for cultural and artistic exchange between the two Koreas. The purpose is to connect facilities near the border of the East and West with culture and art. The team members engaged in all tasks necessary to launch the first-ever art space in the DMZ, such as planning, remodeling the exhibition space, marketing, and the administrative support that closely involves public access to the DMZ.