Thursday, March 16, 2006


Associated Press ("SOUTH KOREA OFFICIALLY OPENS IMMIGRATION CHECKPOINTS AT NORTH KOREAN BORDER", 2006-03-15) reported that the ROK formally opened new immigration checkpoints Wednesday for travelers crossing the heavily fortified border with the DPRK. A checkpoint at Paju is a gateway to one of the two roads and adjacent railways that the divided Koreas have reconnected since their leaders held their first-and-only summit in 2000. A second immigration point to the east connects with a tourist spot in the DPRK. Permanent buildings formally opened at both sites Wednesday replace temporary structures previously used at the crossings. "We have already entered the process of becoming a unified community by geographically connecting the South and the North through the roads of peace," ROK Unification Minister Lee Jong-seok said at the Paju checkpoint. "The immigration offices are no longer 'inspectors' that restrict, check and control, but 'helpers' for comfortable and safe trips ! between the South and the North," he said.
All well and good. My only question is why they call these "immigration checkpoints." No one is seriously entertaining the notion that citizens of the two Korea's will be allowed to immigrate or emigrate to their counterpart are they?

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