Kiwi bikers roar across Korean border

Last updated 10:53 30/08/2013
New Zealand's Gareth Morgan speaks to the media after he and four other Kiwis bikers travelled through North Korea and the demilitarised zone to South Korea on a ride for peace.
Reuters

WHAT A RIDE: New Zealand's Gareth Morgan speaks to the media after he and four other Kiwis bikers travelled through North Korea and the demilitarised zone to South Korea on a ride for peace.

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Five motorcyclists from New Zealand have made a rare crossing of the world's most militarised border as part of a ride for peace from the top of North Korea at Mount Baekdu to the South Korean island of Jeju.

On a journey home from Russia's Far East, the bikers were allowed by the two Koreas to cross along a corridor near the west coast that has been cleared of landmines and is used by South Koreans visiting the jointly run Kaesong factory zone.

"We're riding between Baekdu-san and Halla-san to make the point really that Korea has a 5000-year history. It's an amazing history," said Gareth Morgan, one of the riders.

"Korea really is one country. The issue we all face is how do we get back to that?" he said after crossing into the South on the trip that his group calls "The Long Drop."

The two Koreas remain split under a truce that ended fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War. Tensions peaked earlier this year as the North, under international sanctions for nuclear and missile tests, issued daily threats to attack the South and its ally the United States.

The crossing by the bikers comes as the two sides try to engage in dialogue, with Pyongyang seeking to rise above its isolation and Seoul trying to reverse years of hostility from the North.

Morgan said earlier the group had "an amazing amount of cooperation" from the North. Foreign visitors to the reclusive North are rarely allowed access to parts of the country without government minders tailing them.

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- Reuters

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