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February 14, 2003: Inter-Korean overland route opens

Today in History: February 14, 2003: Inter-Korean overland route opens

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Buses carrying 400 civilians cross the heavily armed border separating the two Koreas in Gosung, 200km east of Seoul for a pilot road trip to the North's Diamond Mountain resort. - Gulf News Archives
Gulf News

Inter-Korean overland route opens

2003 - South and North Korea launched a landmark cross-border tour overland for the first time in five decades, but tensions over the North’s nuclear programme hampered their peace talks. Negotiators from both Koreas wrapping up their three-day talks in Seoul reported no progress as the South’s bid to use the economic cooperation meeting to ease nuclear tensions failed. But on the east coast of their heavily-fortified border, both Koreas took a major step towards peace when they allowed hundreds of civilians to travel overland to the North. The group of some 500 South Koreans was seen off by hundreds of people ahead of their historic trip to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang via the east coast border.

February 14

1924 - The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company is renamed International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).

1943 - Soviet forces recapture Rostov from Germans during Second World War.

1945 - Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador join the UN.

1946 - The first all-electronic computer is introduced at the University of Pennsylvania.

1958 - Iraq and Jordan form Arab Federation with King Faisal as head of state.

1960 - Ayoub Khan is elected President of Pakistan.

1972 - US trade restrictions against China are relaxed, putting China on same basis as Soviet Union.

1979 - Four armed men kidnap US ambassador to Afghanistan Adolf Dubs. Later he was killed in a shootout with police.

1985 - Hostage CNN reporter Jeremy Levin is released in Beirut.

1989 - Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini issues a ‘fatwa’ calling for the death of British author Salman Rushdie.

1993 - Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides wins an upset victory over incumbent George Vassilou in Cyprus’ presidential election.

2002 - The state of Bahrain is declared the Kingdom of Bahrain.

2005 - Former Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri is assassinated.

2007 - Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov is sworn in as Turkmenistan’s new president after winning the country’s first poll with more than one candidate.

2008 - Burj Khalifa sells the highest office floor in the world for Dh44 million to a European investor.

2013 - South African double amputee Olympiad, Oscar Pistorius, is charged with murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in Johannesburg.

2014 - Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal resigns after being in power for 49 days.

2015 - Michele Ferrero, Italy’s richest man and the owner of a global chocolate and confectionery empire, dies at the age of 89.

2016 - Central African Republic votes in elections towards restoring democratic rule and ending years of violence.

2017 - Half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is assassinated in Malaysia.