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Global Geopark Designation

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[Anchor Lead]Efforts are underway to designate the area around the Hantanggang River in Cheorwon as a UNESCO Global Geopark for its famous basalt columnar jointing forms. Get a look at these impressive natural structures in our next story. [Pkg]Formed over hundreds of millions of years, these basalt columnar joints along with the surrounding gorges and waterfalls create a breathtaking spectacle. The 163km Hantangang River originates in Pyeonggang County in the northern part of Gangwon-do Province and flows through Cheorwon-gun County and Gyeonggi-do Province into the Yellow Sea. Efforts are underway to designate the Hantangang River area as a UNESCO global geopark for its high geological value.[Soundbite] Prof. Kim Chang-hwan(Kangwon National Univ.) : "This area has a lot of potential because it's the only place in the world that has a demilitarized zone and geological resources."The governments of Gangwon-do Province and Cheorwon-gun County have launched academic research into the area in a joint effort with the local governments of Yeoncheon and Pocheon, Gyeonggi-do Province.[Soundbite] Hong Jung-pyo(Director, Cheorwon Facilities Management Office) : "We will ensure legal protection for the columnar joints with the help of geological experts, and create hiking trails around the columnar joints for tourists."If the area is designated as a global geopark, it will be able to attract international tourists and promote tourism in the demilitarized zone.

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