Demilitarized zone: Wikis


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In military terms, a demilitarized zone (DMZ) is an area, usually the frontier or boundary between two or more military powers (or alliances), where military activity is not permitted, usually by peace treaty, armistice, or other bilateral or multilateral agreement. Often the demilitarized zone lies upon a line of control and forms a de-facto international border.

Several demilitarized zones have also unintentionally become wildlife preserves, as they cause the land which they sit on to be too dangerous for construction and less exposed to human disturbance or hunting. See Korean Demilitarized Zone, Vietnamese Demilitarized Zone, Ben Hai River, Hien Luong Bridge

Generally, "demilitarized" means converted to non-military use or purpose, returned to a demilitarized field. In such meaning the term is often used in former Soviet republics both in Western and local (transliterated) languages.

  • Although many demilitarized zones are also neutral territory, since neither side is allowed to control it even for non combat administration, there are cases where a zone remains demilitarized after an agreement awarding full control to one state, which relinquished the normal right to establish any military forces or installations there.

It is also possible for powers to agree on the demilitarization of a zone without formally settling their still conflicting territorial claims, implying these are only to be pursued by peaceful means (such as diplomatic dialogue or an international court), or even frozen.


Current demilitarized (mostly neutral) zones


  • Between northern Morocco and the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla lies a demilitarized zone. Morocco has never recognized Ceuta and Melilla as part of Spain.

See: Ceuta border fence and Melilla border fence.


  • Svalbard: The Spitsbergen Treaty of 9 February 1920 recognized Norwegian sovereignty (so it is not a neutral territory), ending the territorial claims of all other signatories, and designated the area as demilitarized.



Article 1 of the main Antarctic Treaty forbids military activity in Antarctica, though military personnel and equipment may use the landmass for peaceful purposes.

Famous former demilitarized zones

  • A
    Historical map of the promontory of Gibraltar.
    neutral territory was established between the British territory of Gibraltar and Spain after the end of the 1727 siege. A strip of land 600 toises (around 1.2 km) long,[citation needed] being more than 2 cannon shots distance between the British guns and the Spanish guns was called "the neutral ground" and shown as such on older maps. In 1908 the British constructed a fence in a portion claimed to be the British half of the neutral territory. Spain does not recognize that the UK has any right to sovereignty over the isthmus, including the border. (see Disputed status of the isthmus between Gibraltar and Spain) and asserts it is Spanish soil. Although both the United Kingdom and Spain are part of the European Union, the border, is now a de facto international frontier with customs and immigration checks. As Spain does not formally recognise it as 'a frontier' it refers to it as 'a fence'. Whatever its name, the crossing remains relevant, as Gibraltar opted out of the European Union Customs Union and is not part of the Schengen area. It is open 24 hours a day with customs duties payable on certain goods entering Spain or Gibraltar.
  • China: Japanese forces conquered Manchuria between September 1931 and February 1932, when they proclaimed the region to be the state of Manchukuo. In May 1933, the Tanggu Truce between China and Japan was concluded, which established a demilitarized zone between Manchukuo and China proper.

External links

See also

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Simple English

A Demilitarized Zone is an area of land that has no military forces in it.

The most famous Demilitarized Zone is the land between North Korea and South Korea. No one can go into the Demilitarized Zone, so the wildlife is well preserved. There are thousands of soldiers and weapons on each side of the Demilitarized Zone, including to this day a massive American presence.

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